Settling In, Reflections for the New Year

Today begins a new year. A clean slate. A pristine page of promise and possibility. I once found such newness intoxicating, always eager to plunge in- to create, dream, begin new chapters, new projects, new stages of life.

But in this moment, I do not feel the whispers of new. The house is exquisitely quiet but not at all empty- buzzing with warmth and life- husband, children, furry creatures. I am moved by its fullness.

Like many, I have been tempted to reset the plot, trading frustration and complexity for shiny and new. Unfinished journals, job applications- efforts to fast forward, to transform, to finally get it right.

Perhaps it takes a while to settle in. To listen quietly as the richness of life buzzes around us. To realize that the air is thick with nuance and color.

I am thankful for the reprieve- the chance to pause, to settle in to the moments, the relationships, the people and places with whom I have touched souls. The richness and beauty are remarkable when framed against stillness- so many textures and colors, patterns pulsating with life and history.

My family is just moments from waking, from setting into motion the dramas and stories, the possibilities that swirl around and through us, always changing yet staying intimately the same.

There is no need to create anew. I accept this gift of understanding. And with it, the sun rises.

In just one week I will return to Tanzania, to the Mara Region, to my special place. In the silence I listen for my soul’s response. I am reminded that this time it is not the promise of new projects, possibilities, or promises to be kept. Instead, it is simply a continuation, another touchstone in a life being lived.

I will accept this insight as a resolution, a promise to listen more attentively to the richness of the moment, to resist the false temptations of starting new. To settle in to the experiences and relationships I have been given, the plots and players to whom I am promised and committed. To let the stories play out in their full splendor. To resist the urge to overproduce.

Perhaps these are not traditional resolutions. But as I embrace their wisdom, I feel a sense of lightness and excitement. My mind wanders to the gifts that I will give and receive in the coming years. To friendships. To experiences. To the richness and mystery of life. To the infinite possibilities that exist within every moment.

The house finally stirs and it begins to snow.

Happy New Year everyone!

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About mbhuber2013

convener and co-founder of BTEP, instructor for Tanzania Study Abroad course; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at University at Buffalo

3 responses to “Settling In, Reflections for the New Year”

  1. Olu Balogun says :

    The richness of the moment you said.I cherish each moment because it gives me a new perspective which uplift my mind whenever I feel lost, alone, and in doubt.I believe in the understanding of life as a continous experience because each experience push you closer and closer to your promise land. Your promise land is where you can be very powerful.Not power in the way the world understand power but rather power to be in peace with yourself and power to give peace to others.Power to be couragous enough to change the world in the most loving way.

  2. mbhuber2013 says :

    Thank you for your comments Olu. I miss your poetic insights and our deep discussions. I hope you are well and that our paths will cross again soon. Happy New Year! With love- Mara

    • Olu Balogun says :

      Yes I am well Mara,and I hope to cross path with you soon.Thank you for your love. You going to Tanzania,Mara region next week?Safe trip.

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