Focusing On The End Of The Year

Nashville, TN:  So at the beginning of the year, I decided to really focus on what I was doing in my life. To not just exist, but to live.  Enfocar.  I realized a few things while trying to keep that intention active throughout the year:

So as a way to prepare for the new year -- and a new intention -- my friend, A, suggested a ritual to honor the moment.  During the summer, A had brought over a prayer lantern and offered up my deepest hopes in to the night sky.  It was a beautiful list of desires and dreams and I could only pray they were read directly by God.  (Though I'm pretty sure the flame blew out & it landed somewhere in East Nashville.  But as long as someone got my list, right?)

With two lanterns still in their packaging, A and her trusty companion, Mother Teresa, met me at the lake (her wishful thinking.  more literally: the Centennial Park pond).  There, we spoke of our heart's longings and wrote our words of intentions on the delicate paper.

A chose faith, a simple but powerful means to alleviate disillusionment.  I chose wisdom, so that, as I continue to gain knowledge and skills, I actually know what to do with them.

Once our prayers were made, we lit the lanterns and sent them into the dusky sky.

A went first:

And then me:

As the lanterns disappeared into the night, I was reminded of how temporary this all is.  The joys and the pains;  the highs and the lows...  they're all wrapped up together in a package we know as 2011 and then suddenly they are gone and a new year will begin.  As I begin the next chapter of this autobiography, I offer up a borrowed prayer:  that I may have serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.