Tag Archives: new year

a new year, a new beginning

Across the inter-webs people are talking about the new year. Some are thankful for a wonderful year while others cannot wait to put 2014 behind them. I can understand both. Some had children, some lost children. Two passersby could be unknowingly facing the same dilemma, both have lost their jobs. One of them finds a new job in days, the other still searches. It is a strange world, filled with both light and darkness at seemingly exact moments.

A year ago I wrote about my year in 2013, a blog called Noes and Toes. Suffice it to say that it was a difficult year. And I don’t want to be cliché when I say that 2014 was much better. Casey and I served in Guatemala, traveled to Paris, got pregnant, she finished her masters, another nephew born. A great year. But does it really work that way? Do the years seriously flow from good to bad and back again? Is there something magical or mystical about the moments between December 31 and January 1? Surely not! Right?

Perhaps it’s all about perspective or mood or attitude; I don’t know. I will admit that there is something powerful and intriguing about the chance to start over. A fresh start, a new beginning, a new creation that inspires and fosters hope. So claim this year. We all have someone that isn’t here anymore to claim the year, likely someone you love that won’t be here very long. Claim the year. Admit your hurts, apologize when you’re hateful, and stand up for the weak. Speak kind words, take long walks. So whether 2014 was a nightmare or a dream, Happy New Year. A new year and a new beginning for all of us.


Nose and Toes

If you’ve ever stepped onto a raft or slid into a kayak and dared to face the white water then it’s likely you’ve been taught the classic rule of safety known as “nose and toes.”  The logic is sound and simple.  If you fall out of your vessel grab hold of your life jacket, float on your back, and make sure your nose and your toes are up out of the water.

On a beautiful summer morning I kayaked down the Hiwassee river with a group of college students and adults.  The river was fast and cold.  Most of the journey personified peace: tranquil scenes, slow moving pace, crystal clear water, grand conversations.  The scattered white water presented nerve racking, yet exhilarating commercial breaks.  I coasted through the first few rapids without falling.  Well over an hour into the journey most of our group had capsized at some point, I proudly had not.  Yet.

The water churned, it’s voice grew louder.  The fall before us looked deadly (it was not!).  One after another I watched people tumble over trying to navigate the 5 foot drop.

  • Steer to the right.
  • Paddle.
  • Straighten up.
  • Paddle.
  • There you go.
  • You got this Rob.
  • Tumble!

My kayak slid right, I leaned right to compensate, but it was too late.  Man over board.  I need to be clear here, I was in no real danger.  But as you may guess, that truth does not truly register in the moment itself.

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