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2021: Impressions and lessons

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

It's been a year, friends. Like surfing the waves, there have been moments of exhilaration, absolute wipeouts, and lots of hoping, waiting, and frustration between.

January – San Francisco. A sublet in Berkeley. Take out, trauma, so many questions. Carpet beetles, aromatherapy, Airbnb, a break-in. A week of smoothies and feathered friends at the window. Coming home to Peacebank yoga. Elemental meditations: earth, air, fire, water. I learn consciousness is crazy expansive, wounds go deep, and trusting yourself can be hard.

February – Big Island adventures and personal deconstruction. Tropical rainstorms. Humpbacks. Papayas, lava rock, banyan trees, poké. Geckos, petroglyphs, and the sound of palm fronds in the breeze. Ecstatic dance, rainbows, and oh-my-God sunsets. Valentine’s Day and Volcanoes National Park. I embrace my darkness and begin to get out of my own way.

March – Rest, recover, and dissolve into SF’s damp cold spring. My partner and I eat inside a restaurant for the first time in a year. Maybe someday I’ll go back to an office. New nephew in Nebraska. Pack, plan, and hit the road. Pass through Paso Robles. Stay in San Diego. Weep from deep joy while surrounded by dolphins. Write more, publish less. I learn connections matter as much as experiences.

April - The mystical desert. Joshua Tree. Palm Springs. Yucca plants, jackrabbits, ravens, oases. Modernism among hot springs and palm trees. Old friends and a retro camper. The grandest of canyons & 18 miles in one day. Petrified forests, painted deserts, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. A rainbow of earth. A heart full of Taos. Hatch chiles, hominy, incense, crystals. Denver snow. Nebraska (at last) where a tiny sage holds the wisdom of the world in his eyes.

May - Kansas City and a birthday reunion. Deep friends. Free vaccines. Excessive fun. All the hugs. My solo trip turns into a duo. Southern Utah: Arches, Bryce, and Zion. Scarcity and abundance. Reservations, cancellations. Scratches, scars, hoodoos, and hikes. Photo opps, parking spots, and too many miles and car piles between them.

June - Re-pack the boxes & bags in San Francisco. Onto the Pacific Northwest. Honor my inner child. Forests, oceans, sunsets, sea lions. Nap in gardens, shell a crab, sip a perfect Oregon chai. Waterfalls. The orcas call. I respond. Whidbey and the San Juan Islands. Lavender, lighthouses, wildflowers, wonder. Dorsal fins! Travel writing. A heat wave in Portland. Crater Lake blue & the strange magic of Mount Shasta. Ready to let something go.

July - Rest in Sacramento, then see four forgotten faces in SF. Miss having friends. Fly to Minneapolis to cuddle niblings times three and connect with a 12-year penpal and college friend. Visit potential in-laws in small town Wisconsin. Baby chicks, big-eyed cows, dairy trivia. Kayaks, croquet, card games, horses. Sort of settle in Redwood City. All the yoga.

August - Stay home, mostly. Labyrinths and sage sticks. Teach, train, work, learn. Peach trees and coffee dates. Take on new clients. Begin to build. The waves of the Pacific strip the stress of the day. Think Feel Be Free (.com). Start to see long-term. Dance with commitment. Rituals, rhythms, moon cycles, fires. Spare the air. Go inside. Constantly check the AQI.

September - Climate change. A hazy Yosemite with crystal clear lakes. My person and I have talk after talk and talks about talks. Create a new class. Offer insights through story. My solar return: a birthday on beaches and a Michelin star with my main squeeze. I learn to dream deeper, fear less, and ask better questions.

October - Return-to-office is delayed. A week in Sedona with time shares and family. Red dirt, energy vortexes, ocotillo, agave. Then a solo trip to Maui, the heart chakra of Hawaii. I am kind to myself. Waterfall swims, brilliant cool snorkeling, sea turtles. A hidden labyrinth, a secret trail in a sacred valley. Hike into the heart of a volcanic crater and cry at the sunset. The first humpback of the season. Change is coming.

November - Family celebrations. All five niblings and Auntie Amanda have so much to teach each other. Legos, Bluey, board games, burp cloths. The parents meet the parents. A cozy harvest with my person and three sacred women: my land mates, girlfriends, community of care. A group of alchemical dreamers read together. Another graduate application. Growing whispers of transpersonal therapy.

December - Days chill. Winter comes. Lattes, cocoa, slippers, hearths. Advent calendar, ice skating, Ram Dass. An echo of Christmases past. Travel back home. Dreams for a new year.

As you ride out this next year, I hope you take all you need to care for your heart. I hope you find beauty amidst chaos, joy beside grief. You are loved. You are held. You are never alone.

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