There are always thoughts people hold when a new year approaches about how it affects the upcoming year as to prosperity, love and relationships.
While I am not the type to buy into all the different theories and old wives’ tales about the final day of an old year bearing on how the next year will go, I am not one to challenge the universe and what it has in store for me in the upcoming year — so, I compromise.
I’m not the partying type, so I don’t go to big celebrations where I might be enticed to step outside the bounds of who I am every day. Call it what you will, but that’s just me.
For me, spending Dec. 31 doing something I like, such as being with loved ones and just enjoying everything I’ve been lucky enough to be, and have, the previous year … is enough.
December 31, I was able to do both … do something I love and spend time with loved ones, so I figure 2017 will be prosperous and full of love with those I love and care about.
Life and a new year will undoubtedly bring a few struggles and hurdles, but it wouldn’t be called life if the struggles and hurdles weren’t there, right?
If life has taught me anything, it’s that struggles and hurdles — and the way we handle them — build character, all while preparing us to make future struggles and hurdles easier to handle. They call that experience.
So, December 31 I spent a greater part of the day out in nature in a planned encounter with a waterfall … so I thought, but I learned or reinforced thoughts that were obviously pushed a little further back in my mind than I realized.
As I ventured down steep hills toward the waterfall, which remained hidden by trees, I heard the rippling of water across the rocks and smelled water in the air. It reminded me of being in the open country and how your sense of smell kicks in before a rainstorm, when you can smell the rain in the air before the drops of water actually begin to fall.
Finally, I reached the waterfall and began to explore its boundaries, taking care not to slip on the moist rocks, but making sure I didn’t miss any of its wondrous features.
My first intuition was to look at where the water was coming from at the top of the falls. It was there I found the most unexpected feature of the falls — a white cross.
The cross got my attention. What was its purpose and why was it there? Was it a sign or something I should ponder? No rhyme, no reason, but at that moment I knew I was where I was supposed to be that day.
I maneuvered my way around to the bottom of the waterfall and made my way across the rocks to the center of the waterfall where I stood in awe of what the universe, and nature, offered me that day.
My first thought focused on the shot I wanted to get, but afterwards I felt a sense of serenity and inner peace. I was humbled by the power such a small waterfall could create if it weren’t for recent drought conditions and realized that although we often bask in our own glory, revel in our own creations and shout from the rooftops how great mankind is — mankind is truly very small in its glory, revelations and creations when it comes to nature.
The more I watched the clear water as it flowed and shimmered across the rocks, the more I thought of how much life was like my Saturday adventure I was about to conclude.
I was reacquainted with the knowledge that sometimes life is like an easy trip down the mountain; things may present themselves at a time where the meaning is unknown; there are times of peace and introspection and there will always be some resistance in climbing back up the mountain — but that mountains can be climbed.
Most important, though, I remembered why all those obstacles are placed in front of us — to make us appreciate the easy things in life, to acknowledge we will always encounter signs that point the way to humility, to savor and think about the good times we’ve been graced with and to always appreciate the encounters in life that helps remind us that life’s waters sometimes get a little murky and need to be purified — like water rushing over the rocks cleanses the water.
So, when life’s water becomes murky or troubled, find your universal waterfall — in nature or in someone you love or care about. You may just find yourself in awe, a sign pointing you to a new direction, peace, introspection, some help climbing back up the mountain or maybe a little clearer water.
It may just be enough for you to find a way to shine while navigating the universal obstacles and struggles we call life.
May all have an enlightening new year.