I’ve been back in Ayrshire, where I grew up, for Christmas and New Year. It has been great to catch up with family and friends and I feel lucky to have reconnected with some people who I have not spoken to since leaving school.
Although I tend to have failed with my New Year’s resolutions come the end of January, I love the process of self-reflection and dreaming that help to construct the goals in the first place. 2012 was a really wonderful year and I feel like it has provided a strong platform for me to pursue my dreams in 2013. So with the aim of firming up my resolutions I set off on a well trodden path from my family home just outside Maybole to Culzean.
This is a walk that I have taken many times and I feel like I could trace each burn and hedge along the way. Despite this familiarity I walked slowly and full of wonder the whole way. I’ll remember 2012 as the year I began to feel each moment and became hyper-aware of the input from each sense. It may not sound like much but this awareness makes even the most mundane times magical and helps to remind me of how lucky I am throughout the day. The only way I can describe it would be to liken the feeling to one where I am constantly experiencing things for the first time; the tone and shape of a cloud, the crash of a wave, seeing new life grow.
If the aim of setting New Year resolutions is to help you move closer to your dreams then I can’t think of a better companion than I had today. Nature moves me away from measuring my success by what I ‘do’ and instead speaks to me about journeys…my journey to here and the journeys that lie ahead.
Most of all I love the way nature helps me move beyond limits, whether imposed by myself or society more widely. As an example, while I was walking back a clearing in the woods appeared revealing the subtle outline of Arran with the Holy Isle more clearly visible just in front. The sea reflected the colours that had brought the sky to life. The view was breathtaking and I felt like nothing could have enhanced it. Just as that thought crystallised in my mind a buzzard that had until that point been hidden behind a bush 20 meters in front of me majestically spread its wings and soared into the sky. The silhouette of the buzzard against the oranges and purples of the sky was beyond what I could have imagined, an utterly perfect moment. It was like nature had seen the look of wonder in my eyes and said ‘Oh, that? You ain’t seen nothing yet!’
So with the wonderful 12 months that I have passed, that is the sentiment I take with me to 2013.