For Writers Island prompt: Embark
When I hear the word embark, I immediately see a foot swinging forward to take that first step. That step of beginning. It is the first day of a New Year, a definite beginning. But, to embark suggests the beginning of a journey of some sort. And a new year holds the promise of a new journey, a new layer of meaning to our lives. It brings with it not just promise, but also fear, maybe a bit of anxiety about what to expect, or what might be expected of us. We simply don’t know, can only begin by taking that first step.
The past year has been so full of people and things. Experiences rich with deep emotions, and deeper meanings unfolding before me. I lost a beloved parent through death. I met and became a member of a flourishing community of poets and writers, and embrace many of them now, as friends. I had two stents put in my heart, and found resolution to some of my oldest wounds and issues. I have written more and better poetry, following the path of words that stretches out in front of me. I have welcomed a new granddaughter and healed more than one floundering relationship. I have found new colors for my world and walls. I have learned so many things. And the list just keeps growing.
I have surprised myself many times in these past twelve months. And I honestly look forward to more of the same in this New Year. I am not foolish enough to believe there will only be good things in store in the coming months. Life doesn’t work that way. But, I take these first tentative steps with more hope than last year. I believe last year, I was still waiting.
Didn’t know what I was waiting for back then. Something new? Different? Now know, I was waiting for me. For the Elizabeth I have found in these past months. She’d been hiding for several reasons. Ducking her head, trying to figure out what the hell she was supposed to be doing. Then life happened. Life, with all of its surprises, came along and she couldn’t just sit back and hide anymore. And she didn’t.
That was the best of those surprises I spoke of earlier. Life happened and I survived, went right past survival and actually flourished. I think one of the things we often fail to recognize is that each new year is a place to celebrate our own survival. And no, I didn’t meet every challenge with confidence and my head up and chin out. I ducked several times. But, life goes on, and eventually I did open my eyes, look up, and knew what I had to do, and did it. On the other hand, there were times when I leapt in and refused to cave to the doubts and fears that normally attach themselves to daily endeavors. I found a balance, and that in turn allowed me to keep moving forward, and dare I say it, even dance.
In my book, those are not small feats. They are mile markers, both the ducking and the leaping. And each one was just another lesson to be learned. I do love learning. When I look back on this past year, I can actually see myself walking into a me I had formerly only hoped might exist, somewhere. And I consider the years before that, practice for doing so.
We dance, two steps forward, one step back. I like the dance my life has become. I like its rhythms, and its movements because they are mine, made up of my own choosing. I am dancing right now. I expect that this new year will bring new music, new words, new rhythms, new colors, and definitely new lessons to be learned. And I know, beyond a doubt, I am stepping more lightly into it than ever before. That alone holds both promise and hope.
My wish for each of you is that you too will find your own rhythms, make your own music, and step more lightly into whatever the future holds. Our lives can only be what we ourselves make of them. What are you making? Will you step out on the floor and dance?