Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year and a Word



We woke up yesterday to find our  backyard blanketed in many more inches of snow than we had expected.  It was the thick, heavy snow that bends small trees to the ground and breaks off large limbs from the great white pines.  It also temporarily turns our funny little garden shed into an enchanted fairy tale cottage.  


Earlier in the week we'd walked the icy trails at Gilsland Farm, seeking quiet amidst the chaos of the season.  This year's holidays have felt even more tumultuous than usual.  I think the news of the world after this long, often terrible, year has left many of us exhausted.


In the face of unrest and suffering in the world, I've found myself turning more and more to the wintery landscapes and seascapes of my home state for solace.  It's there in the bone-colored branches of birches, the grey ocean waves laced with white, and the dry tufts of frozen grass in open fields that I look for the escape my heart longs for.


I haven't become a complete hermit, I promise.  I welcome the cries of seagulls as I walk the cobblestoned streets of Portland, the rush of winter robins' wings overhead in the trees, and the laughter of school kids swooping down hillsides on makeshift sleds.


And the companionship of loved ones.  I'm not always up for talking these days, but I am almost always up for a walk, and a shared cup of something warm when we return home.


Choosing my word for 2017 was easy.  I didn't even think about it.  I just knew: peace.  That's all I hope for this year.  Peace for those I love, for myself, and for the world.  Over the summer I taught myself how to play ukulele, and one of the first songs I learned how to play was John Lennon's "Imagine."  As I learned the chords and gradually discovered how to weave the words in as I played, I found myself experiencing the song in a new way.  I've always loved the lyrics, but each time I now come to "Imagine all the people, living life in peace," I feel it so strongly that I often have to stop playing for a few moments.  Peace is what I hope for, for me and for you, my friends.  I will do my best to help make it happen in the tiny ways that I know how.  Wishing you a year of joyful adventures, truly funny moments, inspiration, love, and peace.  xo Gigi




22 comments:

  1. I pray for peace as well and, like you, am content to be a bit quiet but look forward to the walks. Thanks for sharing scenes from your beautiful home state.
    Wishing you & yours a wonderful new year.

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    1. Wishing you and yours the same, my friend!

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  2. Beautiful images Gigi, and your word ... just yes ... please ...

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    1. Thanks so much, Barb. I've never longed for peace so much in my life. xo

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  3. Lovely photos, and thank you for your beautiful thoughts on peace. It would be my wish and prayer as well.

    Wishing you a beautiful New Year.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks so much, Brenda. May your new year be full of inspiration and peace.

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  4. Beautiful photos and beautiful words, Gigi. And peace is such a perfect word for the coming year. I wish you and your loved ones peace, joy, and many more chances to enjoy quiet walks and warm drinks on your return! Love and hugs, Anita

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    1. Wishing you and yours the very same, Anita! Have a wonderful year. xo

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  5. Peace was my word for last year, and it did at least find its way into my own life. This year's word came easily to me, too...it is Hope, something I truly need as I continue to pray for peace both in my life and in the wider world. Your photos are exquisite and speak to me of both peace and hope...and joy. Wishing you and yours a wonderful new year.

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    1. Thank you so much, my friend! Hope is definitely something we could all use right now. May your year be full of peace and hope. Thanks for your wonderful comments this past year!

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  6. So beautiful, Gigi. Wishing you peace in the stillness and joy in the togetherness. Peace is such an apt word for what we seek in these tumultuous times, for ourselves and others.I have never felt less secure in our world than now, when the solid global status quo is coming into question, or our democracy so threatened. (An organization that studies elections around the world determined that the elections in my state ranked alongside Cuba, and the integrity of our voting districts is not only the worst in the US, but the worst ever analyzed in the world.) Nevertheless, it doesn't behoove me to feel anxious. So seeking serenity where I can find it and hoping to share a bit of beauty and light in my own little way. I hadn't felt resonance with any particular word, but I'm thinking compassion.

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    1. I love the idea of compassion as a word for the year, Carolyn. I've been thinking a great deal about the lack of empathy that so many seem to have for their fellow humans, and I think the world could definitely use a great deal more compassion. And understanding. And care.

      So glad we met this year, and so glad that we can talk with each other about the things that matter. You inspire me in so many ways, my friend. xo

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  7. Gigi, you make winter in Maine look perfectly magical! Well, I guess it is in a way ... especially early in the season. Imagine is one of my favorites too.

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    1. Karen, I am so with you! Early winter in Maine is lovely. Once February hits, I am DONE! The only problem is it tends to linger well into March. Sigh. Let's hope it's a fairly mild one this year!

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  8. Peace is a perfect word. What beautiful peaceful photos. Yes, sometimes we just have to draw in and not talk for awhile. Take care, dear friend, and may we all feel peace this year in these tumultuous times.

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    1. You take care, too, Marilyn! Wishing you all the best for 2017, my friend! I'm so glad that I know you, and hopefully one day we'll get to meet in person. Our two Portland worlds will collide! ;) xoxo

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  9. Happy new year Gigi. What wonderful images. It truly looks like a winter wonderland in your corner of the world.

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Loree! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. Peace is perfect, and your photos compliment it so well. It is up to us to spread peace and love wherever we go.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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  11. Such a wonderful post. I enjoy your photos and your words so much. I feel the same as you. This year going forward I will look for peace in my small world wherever I can find it. It is in the beauty of all creativeness that I find in each post I share and encounter. It will come alive in all the people in my small town. Peace is possible if each day we dedicate ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us.
    Thank you for the beauty of this post. Happy New Year to you and yours.

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    1. I completely agree with you about creativity, Cheryl. It is one of the greatest gifts in my life. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year as well! xo

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