What a retrograde! What a year! What an era!

As I stand peering into the second half of my life, I feel an unusual bit of clarity. So often we are running towards goals, checking them off as we move along our journey, yet not reflecting on what we have done and how we have changed.

This last year was full of choices, and endings and beginnings. I feel satisfied with conforming to the ideals of parenthood. The baby attended college in the USA, living for a year in the wilds we had left. She was able to fulfill that American vision of a college freshman, living in a dorm and excelling in her course. I feel justified, as if my unusual choices in child rearing are validated by her experience. Not that I would have friends any more that query if my homeschooling is valid choice, but I have had those friends in the past.

And friends? Those are always a choice. Whether or not to open your heart to people is one of the few things we can truly control. This last year a lot of chaff has been winnowed, tossed in the air. What remains is what feeds your soul. It has been one main lesson this year, that which hurts me is best incised.

I decided that I needed to live my beliefs fully this last year. We built a community center with our savings and for the last year, most every Friday night have enjoyed making art and showing a movie with whatever children stumble upon ‘El Centro Creativo.’ This interaction is so pure and fulfilling as to be almost a balm for the world. I am able to submerge myself in the joy of giving without expecting anything in return. It is pure Tikkun Olam.

We also are moving out to the jungle to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The consumerism is clawing it’s way into Sayulita and we are lucky enough to have friends who have made this isolationist dream possible. Moving forward will be hardscrabble, but while we can hold onto the dream of community and giving until it hurts, I feel we can overcome any discomfort.

And so this new era begins. Perhaps I will write more in this era, writing is free and creative and sometimes very soothing.

Shanah Tovah