Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Too many words

Happy January 2022! Another year beckons, another year awaits, another year welcomes. 

We began the year here in Maryland with unseasonably warm temperatures - taking walks in long sleeve shirts, pulling weeds from the yard, sitting on the porch for a moment...the world appearing to be spring. Then, overnight, a storm front came in and the temperatures plummeted and we are now blanketed in snow -

Are we standing on the threshold of another year of the word   


That is not the word I intend to focus on this year, oh my, no. 
If that is the word placed upon my shoulders, I will serve up DENIAL instead. hahaha. 
Escape. Hide. Ignore. Read. Write. Hibernate. 

I've been flirting with choosing 'one little word' for this year, and so many words cross my mind. This is always a bit of a wrestle for me. I find choosing one word to be elusive, impossible, both beyond and narrow...not quite big enough and yet overwhelming. How can one little word hold all my hopes and dreams for the time ahead?

I have a daily practice of a 'word of the day' - as revealed by angel cards, a gift from a dear friend a long time ago. This is an inspirational and uplifting ritual, to randomly select a simple word of positivity and see what lens it adds to my day - do I struggle to achieve the word? does it spontaneously appear over and over throughout the day? I often begin my day by journaling into and about this one word.

Don't I need at least one word a day, not just one for the year?

Yesterday morning, as the snow fell, I sat on my bed with a cup of tea and my journal, with the curtains pulled open wide, so I could be an eyewitness to the immersive quiet of the falling wonder. 

Truly, is there anything more delightful than a snow day? This unexpected indulgence of found time?

I had to take a photo:

No, I thought, I need to look closer. So I got out of bed and moved nearer:

No, this is still not enough for me, I must get closer, so I moved all the nearer to the screen:

Oh my, look at my mahonia shrub. It has been unexpectedly transformed - this prickly bush looks so soft and cuddly, almost squishy, like a child's plaything. The gift of snow, letting me see things in new ways.

Wait...what is that? I looked even closer, and took one more photo:

Still paused at my window yet looking even closer,  I discovered that the snow had created almost a path in the midst of the shrubs, a hollowing out, beckoning, inviting...revealing this magical little open space that is not normally there.

Do you see it, too?

This, this, this
is what I want for my year ahead,
to follow embrace manifest expect wander imagine do play go nurture believe pursue immerse pause hope dive linger create unfold reveal connect explore deepen love.

I want to find the ever-present positive, I want to find the light.

I am realizing, it is so easy to name what is painful and hard about life these days.
It is so easy to wallow and complain.

My intention this year is to seek, discover, and observe
the light that surrounds me
even in the midst of all this yuck.

Why not focus on
what is good in the world and bask in this a little bit?
What offers hope?
What joy am I missing?

This year, I seek light and 
strive to share it, show it, shine it, 
whenever possible. 

There's my one little word:

Yes, I like that.

Happy new year, everyone!! May blessings abound!


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for creating this supportive community 
of teacher-writers!


  1. The way you built up your process with pictures and words was beautiful. I hope your word works well for you. It is a balance.

  2. Maureen, that's a word with so many lenses! The weight of a feather, the brightening of a place, the flame of a candle. The beam of moon in the darkness. This word takes me so many warm and wonderful thought places. Angel cards? You must tell more! Angel cards sound delightful as a diopter adjustment word like when the binocular lenses are working together to create one focus. My dad took a "helper" word, but he's changing his helper out each month. His main word is the Greek word telos. I was toying with the idea of having a helper word also - something to have in relation to my word. Angel cards sound like they could be heavenly helper words!

  3. Angel cards. YES! I had them and used them each day for YEARS until I sadly lost them. Replaced them, used them, lost them again in another move. I wound up printing my own set so I've always got them. Your post has reminded me that maybe I need to get back to that.

    And LIGHT. Yes, light, in all of its literal and metaphorical meanings. More light, please!

  4. Maureen, light is a very interesting word and the way you led us through your process of finding it was like the trail in your photo-a pathway to possibilities. As for the snowfall, it was so magical seeing billowy patches of puffed delights hanging onto limbs and bushes. Your thought about the snow falling made me pause (..."I could be an eyewitness to the immersive quiet of the falling wonder." Your thoughts are kin to mine.

  5. I love how you discovered your word. I can relate to the finding a beautiful sight from the window and then wishing to hold the whole view and then zoom in, marvelling the magical scenes the snow has created. "Light"is a marvellous word.

  6. Maureen, here in central NC we had those unseasonably warm temperatures as well followed by a little smattering of snow - nothing like what you got! So, so beautiful. "Light" was calling you all along. It will be a glorious lens for the year - a good "one word" does that, but I'm also with you in thinking I need a word for every day!

  7. Light! Love it! Light will guide you along your way in 2022. Marvelous!

    BTW: I thought we'd get the tail end of your storm, but it completely missed Central PA. I couldn't believe all of the pics from friends and my alma mater (GWU) on social media. Y'all really got hit hard!

  8. I love "light" as a OLW. Your journey to the light is gorgeous. Did you know "light" is at the heart of the NCTE 22 convention theme? Perfect word.