Saturday, January 05, 2013

Doorway to 2013

By Maxcyne Motte Yaworsky

    Rumor has it that gentlemen like to spend New Years Day , lounging in easy chairs, sipping their bourbon and branch, and smoking cigars,  with their eyes  focused on that noisy, glaring , TV apparatus and its display of male circus activity called "football".  But what are the ladies doing , meanwhile, to welcome the New Year ,after all the flurry of Christmas baking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping , entertaining friends and family?  Now is the quiet day for contemplation-  January first!

     January;  the month of January was named for Janus, the two faced (or two headed) Roman god of doors, doorways, arches, openings and closings. One face to reflect upon the past, and ,yet, another face anticipating the future.  Thus, January first is our doorway to another year, a time to examine the old and look forward to the new.

     Some years ago, a group of my hiking friends and I hit upon the idea of celebrating our way.  We started a new tradition. We began the tradition on New Years Day, of traveling twenty miles south to the small Utah town of Layton, turning seven miles west through town, then driving another seven miles across a causeway in the Great Salt Lake to reach Antelope Island. 

 The 28,022 acres of this island appear barren at first sight, but is a refuge to an astonishing variety of fauna and flora, including about 700 bison, many herds of antelope, bobcats, coyotes, water birds of all sorts, and many, many rocks! It is also a great refuge for human beings who opt to enjoy the stark beauty and solitude there.

     On many days during the winter months you may also see people exercising their horses on the trails that the bison make in the snow, as they roam about the island in a quest for food.  It is a wonderful sound to hear the faint jingle of horses equipment as horses approach you on a trail, and so jolly to see the excitement and happiness of riders as they greet you along the way. Sometimes they stop to talk with you and may even offer you a ride!! We have hiked these trails in past years, through sub- zero weather, through fog and mist, or falling snow.  This year, the sun popped out from behind the clouds to greet us when we arrived on the island. 

 It was such a beautiful day as we hiked around the northern shore of the island.  My contemplation of a backward look through the doorway to 2012, showed to me a year of great happiness. We celebrated the arrival of our first great-grandchild, a beautiful little girl named Emery Anne.  We had a wonderful visit with my sisters and their families in Boone (an added joy that friend, Obie Oakley joined us for lunch there one day), my garden was wildly(!) successful this year, and wonderfully enjoyable to have for both working, and also sitting in to read, and, finally one of the most beautiful trips I have ever had.  Two of my friends and I spent two weeks traveling in Croatia, the Dalmation Coast  being dotted with beautiful fishing villages,  Roman ruins, and amazing medieval walled towns.
Clever jokester behind Maxcyne is unnamed. Bless his heart. (See "2013" story below) 

     I cannot conceive that such blessings might ever again brighten my days in a year to come, but as I turned my thoughts to the New Year, I thought of my granddaughter, Brooke, to whom I bade "goodbye" on the eighteenth of December.  That is the day she left for Peru and Ecuador, to be a missionary for her church.  She has had this ambition since the age of six.  For a small going away gift, I had plasticised a copy of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi as a bookmark for her. I thought about this prayer that I had learned as a young girl at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, as I was walking in the bright sunshine on Antelope Island.  The words of this prayer contain the most wonderful resolutions to make for the new year:


Make me an instrument of thy peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light,
where there is sadness, joy.

O, divine master,

grant that I may not so much seek,
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as  to love.

For it is in giving that we receive:
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

May every joy be yours in the coming year!


(Beautiful!  Thank you Maxcyne.  I asked her to send a picture of those outstanding ladies, and here it is:

Emery Anne in her grandmother's arms. Her mother is my granddaughter, Heather, with the dark hair. Aunt Brooke is our missionary, she is the one with the strawberry curls! Someone may remember her as our granddaughter who cojmpeted in Russia as a power tumbler in the world competition several years ago. The real star of the show however, is Cathy, my daughter. She's a far cry from the kind of grandmoither I remember having!  -Maxcyne

Right again, Maxcyne.  They don't make Grandmothers like they used to!  -Ed