Friday, December 31, 2010

BEYOND TOMORROW'S DAWN


We stand at the end of another year—a little older, possibly a bit wiser, somewhat weary, but filled with the satisfaction of having at least completed the trail—and I would hope a smidgen excited by the unknown road just ahead. It's also natural that we like to pause here, taking stock of where we've been, wondering about where we're going.

Like all years, the one to the rear had its ups and down. While there were moments—even days—I'd rather not repeat, on the whole it was a very good year. True, my bank account didn't improve. Neither can I say I feel younger or stronger—and every mirror I pass reminds me I'm sure not getting better looking. Nope, the physical me is definitely losing the battle—but I'm holding as tough as I can and I'd like to think I'm not giving up too much ground. 

Moreover, when considered overall, there's no doubt my blessings far outweighed my hardships. I find increasing pleasure and satisfaction in the simple things. I know both peace and joy. There is always beauty and wonder to be savored, mystery, adventure…love.

What of tomorrow, and the next 364 days beyond? I have no idea—well, I have an idea, but don't know whether it will prove accurate. Life does not come with guarantees, and I make no prescient claims. No man can insure his own tomorrow, let alone the tomorrow of others. Only God has that insight, and so I place my life and future in His hands.

One of my great delights this past year has been the opportunity to share words and photos with all of you via this blog. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate each and every reader and comment. You are both my guests and my friends, and I'm continually humbled by the fact that in this busy world, you choose to spend part of your precious time with me here on the riverbank. From the bottom of my heart—THANK YOU!

Now—grab your walking stick, and put an extra snack or two in your pack…there's a brand new year-long trail to follow beyond tomorrow's dawn. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 
———————

38 comments:

Rowan said...

A very Happy New Year to you also Grizz. I'm ready with my walking stick and back pack:) Got those extra snacks too :)

deb said...

I am blessed to have found your space .
Here's to what will come... and to making peace with it.

Freda said...

Sometimes it is as well we don't know exactly what is ahead. But the important thing is to trust that God is with us each step of the way........ that's what I tell myself anyway, and Hogmanay is the time to be reminded of it. Every Blessing

George said...

What a pleasure it has been to connect with you this year, Grizz. I have enjoyed every photo and every word found on the riverbank. You have delighted me, inspired me, and called my attention to things I might not have otherwise seen or considered, which, I might add, is the task of every artist.

In a few hours, we will be stepping into yet another year, one designated by a number that seems more appropriate as the title for a science fiction thriller. I don't know what the journey will bring, but I will have better footing just knowing that we are walking on the path together.

My very best to you and your loved ones in the year ahead!

Linda said...

Happy New Year, Grizz. I'm glad to have found your blog. You are talented with a camera as well as with a "pen." (Pen sounds more poetic than "computer.) :)

Gail said...

OH GRIZZ-

so beautifully written, heartfelt and true. I love the picture too. Reflective and intentional and so surreal. I love coming here and that you are my friend. In a different time and place.......well, let's just leave it at that. And so tomorrow's dawn will unfold and I have a;ready received a promise - my daughter called. It's a start. Amen.
I love you Grizz
Gail
peace.....

Penny said...

Happy New Year to you too Griz a I will enjoy wanderng wih you this year along your riverbank and further afield as well.
We had a hot day yesterday but a cool change in time for the dinner with friends to welcome in the new year.

Grizz………… said...

Rowan…

I'm truly glad to have you along! If I can have my way exploring the coming year's path, you'll need those extra snacks and that sturdy stick.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Deb…

What a wonderful comment—though I assure you, the blessing is mutual.

And I love your final words: "Here's to what will come... and to making peace with it." That is truly the key.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Freda…

I would never, never want to know what tomorrow might bring. I can't think of a heavier burden…nor would I wish to have the surprise of joy and wonder dulled. Nope, let God be the general—I'll just report for duty.

"Hogmanay," now there's a word I haven't heard for years. Do you know these verses?

"Haste ye back, we love you dearly,
Call again you're welcome here.
May your days be free from sorrow,
And your friends be ever near.

May the paths o'er which you wander,
Be to you a joy each day.
Haste ye back we love you dearly,
Haste ye back on friendship's way."

An old fishing friend—thirty years my senior, and gone to fish the waters beyond the veil for many, many years—used to sing it at the New Year's Eve dinner he gave which he called his "Hogmanay Feast." I don't know what the song's called, and I may have miswritten some of the words. But oh, my, how I miss that dear old gentleman.…

Happy New Year!

ellen abbott said...

Nice, I couldn't have said it better. happy new year.

Grizz………… said...

George…

My friend, you have a painter's eye, a poet's heart, and a scholar's mind…but your greatest attribute is your kind and gentle spirit. You seek to find virtue in life, valid meaning, genuine joy.

Since day one, it has been a great pleasure, and my good fortune, to count you among my readers—a point invariably made clear by my visits to your wonderful blog. You never fail to inspire me, to make me think, and—I'm being honest here—whether by words or images, provide a healthy dose of humbling.

It is true we neither of us know where the new year's ongoing path will lead—but we both know that we must step out boldly and follow. An adventure shared is an adventure doubled. Moreover, we both understand that the real treasure lies in the journey.

May the coming year bestow blessings unimaginable upon you and yours…and may joy and peace fill your soul. Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Linda…

It is my good fortune you found your way here to the riverbank and liked what you saw. Thank you!

Believe it or not, I still occasionally scratch out a column or post with a pen…but you'd have to knock me unconscious to take my beloved ol' word processor away.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

I'm so glad to have you as a reader AND friend. I love your indomitable spirit and your open heart. You embrace life with relentless passion—and in return, you find genuine joy.

It is wonderful news, too, that your daughter has called…for I know how much this means to you. What a terrific start to the new year!

Enjoy your celebration tonight and/or tomorrow with friends and family. Live hearty! Take care of yourself.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Penny…

All the snow is gone here. In fact, it got up into the low-60s˚F today, the warmest it has been for many weeks. Balmy!

I'm glad you'll be coming along one our wanders during the upcoming year. I'll do my best to see you enjoy the adventures.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Ellen…

Thank you. And please know I enjoy having you visit regularly, and appreciate your comments.

Happy New Year!

Wanda..... said...

My husband returned home last evening; he still has quite a bit of recuperating to do. I have taken a few moments to relax with your post, which always gives me moments of pleasure, a reason to be thankful, and thoughts to ponder. Husband is a fan too!

Kay said...

Discovering your blog this year has been one of the joys of blogging. I started writing about my own riverbank and its visitors on Jan. 1 -- almost as a whim, not even thinking of why or how. I found out that meeting other bloggers and entering their worlds was one of the best parts of blogging. Your riverbank wanderings and the words and photos you share with your readers are inspiring to me. I wish you and yours the best of new years and look forward to your words and pictures in 2011!
Kay

Cicero Sings said...

Happy New Year!

Yes, many new trails to travel down. My D could never resist a new trail ... so with his spirit of adventure I look forward to 2011, even with a little bit of anticipation to see what He will do!

Life does throw some curves our way ... gulp! ... but I'm thankful that my future is in His capable, loving hands ... He is a great guide if we can sharpen our ears to hear and our eyes to see.

Val said...

happy new year to you and yours and looking forward to some wonderful Riverdaze side trips

Bonnie said...

And what a delight it will be to connect with you on that year-long trail. Your words and images provide what you wish for us - beauty and wonder. You create such a welcoming shelter here, and I always look forward to stopping by. Thank you for the many gifts you have given me.

May 2011 be full of discoveries, delight, enrichment and wonder for you too Grizz.

Jayne said...

As always, eloquently written. We feel honored to be able to come to the riverbank and visit with you as you share your life in images and wonderful words. A very happy New Year to you my friend. May it be all you want it to be, and more.

giggles said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

I am so very glad to hear such wonderful news! You've undoubtedly been given the greatest Christmas blessing of all…and I know you're elated and thankful. Please tell your husband I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery, and that I won't forget him in my prayers.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Kay…

I began this blog with not much in mind other than keeping a sort of spotty record of certain days hereabouts. What I found was a wide world of friends and community—both humbling, inspiring—which has enriched my life immeasurably.

I'm delighted to count you as a riverbank regular, and hope you always enjoy your visits.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Cicero…

Indeed! For me, the unknown trail has always been a lure because of its potential for adventure. Who knows what wondrous thing lies just around yonder bend? What beauty? How can I resist such glorious mystery?

That there will be trials goes without saying. But to sit still is to stagnate, wither, rot. Life is made to be lived, embraced with hope and joy, aglow in love—and days ahead enthusiastically anticipated.

Besides, as you said, He is a great guide. There's nothing to fear.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

I do try to make this blog a place where visitors understand they are welcome guests, to make them feel comfortable, let them know they're always appreciated. I try and share in any way I can, and do my best to make their time here fun and entertaining—worthwhile—just as I would any other friend or family member.

Yet I confess I honestly get back more than I ever give. You are the gift to me…and what a blessing! I thank you so very much.

I truly hope the year ahead brings you peace and health and joy, while leading you ever closer to that which you seek.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

The honor is mine, truly. What an amazing blessing that this simple blog brings such wonderful people into my life.

Thank you.

Happy New Year!

Grizz………… said...

Giggles…

What a year, huh? But…what a wonderful year awaiting!

Happy New Year!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Happy New Year, Grizz! I've got my neckpack and am ready to go adventuring. Beauty, wonder, mystery, adventure and love are definitely ingredients of a great year!

Grizz………… said...

Raph…

Hey, you made it just in the neck of time—and I sure didn't want to leave without you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Grizz………… said...

Val…

Oops! I missed you during my previous round of comment answers. Please forgive me…I'm older than I was and haven't yet managed to cope.

But I'll indeed make it up to you with those requested Riverdaze side trips. Promise. And in the meantime…

Happy New Year!

Bernie said...

Happy New Year my friend, many blessings to you and your family. It is always a pleasure to pop over and visit with you Grizz. Sounds like you are feeling better.
.......:-)Big Hugs

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

It's always a delight to hear from you—and I'm glad you enjoy your visits here.

I am feeling a bit better—or at least coughing less—though I began taking some antibiotics a couple of days ago. Still not over whatever nailed me.

Happy New Year!

Arija said...

Every coin has two sides and this past year has withdrawn some very dear blessings: my brother passed away as did our neighbour of 40 years. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.... sadly on the last day of the year my wonderful 22 year old cat, my companion through thick and thin who was ready to accompany me on the Long Trail five years ago when the doctors had given me up and when my guardian angel at the 11th hour brought me back, she too bounced back. I wonder how soon I will follow although I still have been given the gruelling task of steering my dear old Prof through the quagmire of memory loss and its accompanying terrors.
My once glowingly beautiful garden has reverted to a wilderness as my strength has faded. The hours in a day grow short as simple tasks take ever longer to accomplish, even cooking ,which was always a joy, has become a chore.

On the other side, I still have my wonderful sister, our daughter living just down the hill a little with three grown up grandchildren who are a daily delight and come up when the sun has gone over the yardarm for a gin and tonic with this old witch.
The birds still sing, the moon still rises and the morning star glows like a beacon in the east on sleepless nights. There are wonders whichever way I look, pictures to paint and stories to write and a world full of living beings to love.

The only really important thing in this life is having someone to love and I have so many and so much and one of those blessings is the glimpse into your life through your blog.

When things get tough, I just come over for a little while and am grounded once again. Although I only recently found you, you were sent my way as a blessing.
Thank you Grizz for being and sharing your life with us all.

Love and Blessings . . . Arija

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

I simply don't know the words to answer…as your words, poignant and indomitable, filled with the gritty sadness and joy of a life lived in courage and truth, simply say it all. Taking account is never easy on the heart, but to avoid doing so is to ignore the human condition and the capacity to love and be loved—to not acknowledge that which we've found along the journey that moved into our soul, became a part of our spirt as well as our life.

Yes, the final pull up the hill is always the hardest part—but the view from the top is the payback. You know the trail, and you walk in beauty and hope, and steadfast loyalty to those who've given you strength. And your attitude, oh my…"The birds still sing, the moon still rises and the morning star glows like a beacon in the east on sleepless nights. There are wonders whichever way I look, pictures to paint and stories to write and a world full of living beings to love."

How can I answer such words? Only by thanking you, by wishing you a safe journey and Godspeed—and by counting myself lucky you found this riverbank rest. I am blessed by you!

Happy New Year!

Arija said...

Grizz dear friend,

It is wonderful to have found you at this late stage of my life. Someone with whom I can share a thought or two and who hears and understands. That is a blessing indeed.

I find there are two ways we can live our life. We can bemoan what we have nor or relish and delight in what we have. I prefer the latter. There is so much we have been given as a birthright, we can see, feel, hear and smell and once we learn to listen with our soul, the angels hold converse with us and help us surmount impossible odds.

God, at times, may test us sorely , but we are never given more to bear than we can carry on this glorious adventure trail we are on.

Love and Blessings . . . Arija

PS Hey, where's that eggnog recipe? I still have not had one this festive season.

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

I'm glad you've found your way here, too. And you're quite right in all you say. We can choose to bemoan the life we wish we had, or enjoy living the one we do have. It is our choice. Circumstance are what they are, and often can't be changed; but our outlook and attitude can. We all start our with many gifts. I, like you, want to make the most of mine.

See, this is why I told you to rattle my chain re. the eggnog recipes. I knew there was every chance I'd forget—not intentionally, just in the hustle and bustle. And I also got sick, which really lowered the odds. It had completely slipped my mind until you prodded me today.

BUT…I'll see if I can't get both recipes off to you tomorrow—or else I'll post them here.