beginnings and perspective

January is a time of fresh starts.  At the beginning, the year is a blank slate.  Resolutions and good intentions.  More than just that, it's a time for introspection, a time for taking stock, for asking, "is this where I want to be?", "am I who I want to be?"  Feeling that we can change, that we have the chance to change is very liberating.  A fresh start is glorious.

At the beginning of the year I always have these sorts of thoughts.  Without consciously deciding to, I am on the lookout for examples of people making life changes.  Being in the middle of a transition myself, I have an even more heightened awareness to such stories.  I guess that's only natural.  When an idea or topic or word is on your mind, you tend to start coming across that idea or topic or word everywhere you look. 

The other day we watched the movie The Spitfire Grill.  I'd seen it many years ago, back in high school when my friends and I would go to the cheap movie theater almost every weekend.  I barely remembered the story, but I remembered having liked the movie.  The movie is about fresh starts, new beginnings.  In it a young woman gets released from prison and starts a new life for herself in a small town she's chosen simply for its beauty.  Although she is the one who is seeking a new beginning, the town also enjoys a new beginning thanks to her presence.  The fresh start that she brings with her is the fresh start of a new perspective.  The townspeople begin to really see and appreciate the beauty around them.

I think perspective is everything.  And I think that perspective is intrinsically linked to the blank slate of the new year.  New year is a time for A New You.  But it doesn't have to be a new physical you.  Not a thinner/shinier/smoother you, but a new state of mind.  Isn't that what resolutions are all about?

Earlier on that same day, the newest issue of Mary Jane's Farm arrived in the mailbox.  I quickly flipped through it while waiting for dinner to cook.  I was enchanted by photos of a beautiful cottage in the woods.  The article is brief.  I read it quickly, standing at the kitchen counter.  Here is another example of a woman making a dream into a reality.  The cottage was an old hunting cabin that Sandy Foster refurbished herself.  The article tells of family hardships and homelessness, of a desire for her own place and of sanctuary.  Yet more inspiration.

The following lines from the article especially affected me:

Too often we balk at doing the very things that could give us the life we want.  Too often, the fear that we're incapable causes us to make excuses.
"No time."

"No money."

"No clue how to use a circular saw."

The obstacles seem great, the provisions slim.  We talk about "making do."  But that doesn't mean settling -- it means expecting more and better from yourself.*

Wow.  I had to read that passage a second time and then those ideas just kept simmering on the back burner.  We had dinner, watched the movie, I crocheted.  I thought about creating reality from dreams.  I thought about clean slates and new beginnings.  I thought about shifting perspectives.  Isn't that what we all need?  We need reminders to enjoy the beauty around us, whether that be the beauty of nature seen in a sunset or the beauty of love shared in a hug, even the beauty of eating a favorite meal.  We need reminders that the things that might feel impossible or that are blocked from view by all manner of obstacles really can be possible and truly do exist, just as the sun exists even when hidden behind clouds.

And here I am, back at a belief in possibility.

*Quoted from Mary Jane's Farm Feb-Mar 2011, p. 52


  1. Another beautiful post. Fresh starts are always so magical!

  2. I love what you wrote and wholeheartedly believe in fresh starts.
    Also linked to your blog on mine today!

  3. I have just 'discovered' you through Judy Hartman's blog. This post is inspiring and uplifting! I believe that a fresh perspective really does change the way that we look at things and live our lives. I am so glad I have found you today!

  4. Lovely post and yes I agree: perspective plays a central part in how we live. Seems like we've both been going through many new realisations last year and this. Life is a huge learning curve for sure :-)

    Kat X


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