I say this now because I won’t be writing for a while, not here anyway. I’m taking a couple of weeks off to go to Africa. It’ll be an entirely new experience for me – a new continent, a first mountain climb, a first effort in altitude, a first camping experience that will last more than one night, and a first time journeying entirely with people I’ve never met. I expect to learn a great deal about the world and myself while I’m away.
I’m a big believer that how you spend New Year’s Day sets the tone for the year. This year, on January 1, I will be waking from my first night of camping. I will be figuring out what it’s like to sleep in a tent and how to live without the usual creature comforts, like running water and toilets. I’ll be exposed to the sun and the cold. I’ll be appreciative of every piece of clean clothing that I have and the quality of my footwear. And I’ll be relying on the help and companionship of strangers. This is perhaps the part I fear most. I know no one making this journey with me.
I have lots of hopes for this trip. I hope my luggage will arrive with me. I hope that my gear will prove sufficient. I hope I will sleep well and that I will be healthy the entire time, mentally and physically. I hope I will enjoy the seven other people who have chosen to spend two weeks hiking a mountain and experiencing the natural beauty of Africa. I hope that I return with the ability to say that I made it to the summit. I hope to read and write and find my voice while I’m far away from the usual routines and influences. I hope everything about the trip proves to be an incredible experience.
Those are my hopes for this trip. But if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, it’s that the universe has its own plans for me and that I need to trust it. That, more than anything, is what I intend to do when I get on the plane, when I wake up that first morning on the mountain, and in the coming year. I plan to trust and to act boldly in that trust.
Happy new year to you. Be safe. Be well. May you feel the arms of the universe wrapped around you today and in the coming year.