The frozen leaves crunched under our feet as we slowly hiked toward Lake Michigan, bundled up in our parkas, scarves, hats and mittens. I was surprised by the amount of green that surrounded me on the Old Indian Trail, on the last day of December. But I can’t quite describe why exactly it felt like I was in a dream. Maybe because it felt perfect, yet almost a little eerie. So calm and still, so peaceful. Surrounded by nothing but trees. On our way we stopped to each hug a tree. It sounded so silly, but what if more people did that? Would the world be different? Do you think the trees notice? I kind of do.
As I walked with Katy and Aj by my sides, we talked about many things, including our hopes for this new year that would soon be upon us. We couldn’t stop wondering where we would be in a year from now, as we all will be graduating in May. We decided it was a year of adventure and a year of creation. Many new adventures lay ahead of us and it is up to us, each individually and together, to create the lives we want to live.
Right as we got to the lake, the battery on my camera died. I was very disappointed, but it gave me a chance to fully appreciate the moment and preserve the images in my memory. As we came to the top of the sand dunes, I saw the turquoise blue lake and heard the roar of the rough waves as they spilled onto the shore, creating a small layer of ice on the sand. I felt the wind burning my cheeks as it whipped the wisps of hair not tamed by my hat into my face. I smelled the crisp, clean and cold air and was left thinking about the power of water and nature, making me feel quite small in this big world.
I personally have a couple of things (although quite general) I hope to work on in this new year. I want to have intention in my actions and not rush through things. I hope to be honest and clear about what I want – with myself and others. And finally, I want to follow through with all the goals and projects and ideas I come up with this year. It is so easy to think about doing something, yet fail to complete it.
My final and more quantitative resolution is to take a picture every day. Not solely to have pictures to look back on, but as a reason to practice every single day. And to put myself out there. I often have a good idea for a picture but I feel uncomfortable with other people watching or I just don’t end up going out of my way to do it. It will force me to practice looking at the world with a creative twist, and to find wonderful moments in what otherwise might be ordinary days. It may help me to interact with people I otherwise would not. And it will help me to continue to explore and encounter new places as well as cherish old ones.
I intend to work hard to create a positive atmosphere this year, where I can be fully present and open to whatever may come my way.