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Two end-of-year traditions: setting the intention of the year-to-be with a word, and choosing a card as a forecast of sorts. If the card is the river that carries us forward, then the word is how we choose to ride that river.

The word - the intention - has been on my mind for a couple of months now. Several have been picked up, chewed on, thought about, and gently set down again. I am cautious in my choosing, not wanting to invite unpleasant side effects in. Frugality could lead to the loss of work, simplicity to a brain injury, plenty could be plenty of strife.

Yes, I am somewhat paranoid about this. But while there are aspects to all of these words that felt right to me, none of them were Right.

In the dark, at ritual, meditating on the gifts that I can offer to other people. Meditating on the gifts that others offer to me. There are the tangible things that are so plentiful and so miserly at the same time, but my mind kept straying back to something more. Smiles, laughter. A good meal, throwing open the door to welcome others in. Conversation and tea, brownies and tears, companionship in the dark night looking at the space station flies overhead, hysterical laughter while drying the dishes.

I thought about what I wanted from the new year - progress on the work I've already begun, yes. Deeper work, deeper relationships. Joy, happiness, security. And I sat in the dark and asked what was at the root of all these things, what supports them, drives them forward?

As the meditation ended, I had found my word, my intention for the new year. There was supposed to be a big ritual for myself to say it but, as with so many things in my life, the ritual was just there in the most mundane of moments. In the kitchen (oh, my magic-filled kitchen), stirring the stew, checking the bread, chatting with mom about Christmas lights and my niece. The call wound down and I, out of nowhere, say:

"I love you, mom." She responded immediately. "I love you too." But what made my breath catch was that she sounded surprised to hear it. Surprised to hear her daughter say those words.

Yes, came the whisper. You begin to see.

The cards sit next to me. Pull one for the year, one to get a sense of what the year will hold. 2 of Pentacles. Balance in all things, in work, in money, in love, in self. Balance between the inner and the outer. Balance between high ritual and simply stirring the stew.

Balance, and to get there, Love.

Balance. Love. Love. Balance.

Yes, comes the whisper. You begin to see.

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scatterjoy

December 2012

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