Another year has come and is now gone and so I find that it is time for me to write my annual thoughts on the year behind and the year ahead. Typically, folks do this at the turn of the calendar year. For me, I mark the orbits of the Earth around her star as they match my entry into the great dance that is creation.

This last year has been one of growth as I look back on it. The healing of old wounds and the removal of the emotional scar tissue around it has been one of the major points of the year. But mostly, I’ve been thinking about the little things. The small moves these friendships have made towards wholeness, for instance.

In one case, someone I never expected to be at all close to again has asked me more than once what I’d like for my birthday this year. I’ve hardly known what to say in the midst of being thankful for the growth there. In another instance, I’ve lived in my own place for most of the last year and have dealt rather well with the fears and strangeness and joy that comes with such a shift. In still another, finding the strength and courage to trust people has brought new depth to my world and helped opened doors to new experiences in old guises. In particular, taking part in the Community Chorus of Redlands, specifically the Feast of Lights, was a wonderful experience that I am grateful to have taken and look forward to doing again. And this time around, I intend to actually meet the people I’m singing with. 🙂

It hasn’t been all fun and games, though. Learning to trust people again means opening myself up to being hurt. I’ve had to fight hard against the knee-jerk reaction to protect myself from what I’ve perceived for so long to be a mostly hostile world devoid of good things. The small voice I hear in my head that suggests that my friends aren’t really my friends has indeed grown so much softer over the last year, but the whisper is still there. And sometimes the silent irrational thunders over the rational.

In this is the greatest lesson, I think, of my last orbit on this earth. It is in the surrender to the irrational, the accepting it as it is and stopping the fight against it where the Power to conquer it lies. It is being broken and shattered to my very core that I find the straight and narrow path to Peace. In a paradox, I am never whole and complete and in my right mind unless I am broken and fragmented. There is where my self lives and it is there that my Creator waits to calm the storms, give me my faith, and make me the man He intends me to be.

Today begins Orbit 29. I don’t know what is in store for the next trip around the sun. I imagine there will be pain and confusion at points. But those times are already wrapped up into the steps of the dance that is itself joy.