01 January 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Wow! Another new year! It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating New Year's Eve 2010 by watching the fireworks at Longwood soar over the forest trees from the cozy warmth of my front window! Now I'm in a new state (temporarily) with new adventures ahead.

The accepted New Year tradition (besides black eyed peas and corn bread) is to make resolutions. This year I have resolved not to make any resolutions! Instead, I resolve to be resolved - resolved to the fact that life is an adventure, an exhilarating journey into the unknown to be met with enthusiastic courage, zeal, and passion while heeding the dangers and embracing the unexpected gifts.

Who knows where I'll be or what I'll be doing this time next year? Who knows what experiences will further shape my knowledge or what learning will further inform the matrix of my thoughts? Who knows what people I'll meet and what friendships will be forged! This year I resolve to make 2011 a quest - a quest of self-discovery, revelation, knowledge, for dreams fulfilled, and for the next stepping stone on my garden path.

Appropriately, I've had sea voyages on the brain. Partly due to the closing quote in Dan Maffei's speech at our graduation ceremony, partly from reading more of my friend Washington Irving's tales of travel, and partly because of Reepicheep. Who? You mean you don't know who Reepicheep is? Well, why not!? He's only the bravest rapier-wielding mouse ever to inhabit the world of classic fiction. Wikipedia describes him thusly: "He is an experienced warrior, utterly fearless, and faultlessly courteous, particularly to noble ladies. He is also pugnacious and quick to defend any affront to his honor." He sails to the utter east - the end of the known world - in search of that which to many will remain unknown. To many more the unknown is habitually feared and is therefore avoided, often to their own peril.

And so I resolve to approach the coming year with the same prayer with which Dan concluded his speech. It's a quote from Sir Frances Drake, himself an adventurer, sea captain (and pirate) of some renown. He was the first to circumnavigate the globe (try to imagine what that might have been like!). As we set sail into the unknown waters of 2011, I resolve to go forth with a mouse's courage and a pirate's prayer:

Disturb us, O Lord
when we are too well-pleased with ourselves;
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord
when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life;
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord
to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show Thy mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow.