My greeting to you today is a wish for a healthy, happy, and safe New Year celebration. As I set about in a few minutes for a nice long hike on this absolutely fabulous and unusually warm December day, the word 'renewal' is on my mind.
So many people set New Year's resolutions that fall by the wayside when life quickly gets in the way. I don't look at the coming year in that way. I look for a renewal of spirit and vitality and I see this as I hike through the leaf-barren trees and watch for birds and other wildlife going about their business, without a thought as to the day of week, or bank accounts. I see the buds setting on the trees as they renew during their rather short Texas nap.
It is in this setting that I am closest to true spirituality. Peacefulness garnered from the warm sun enveloping my skin, the tepid breeze with drifts with pine and decaying wood, the sound of crackling leaves, and the melded song of many birds going about their business. To me, there is nothing in the world like the absolute serenity and renewal in spirit of a stroll through the woods.
May all the worries of 2011 be pushed aside and new hope for a prosperous 2012 replace them, and may your spirit be renewed with the tolling of the clock at midnight.