Welcome December

Moss and birch leaves

New Year’s resolutions will not happen for another month, but December feels like the time for true beginnings.

November is the darkest month: the sun seems to disappear and my energy winds down. Death comes to the crazy, project-oriented little man who runs inside me half the year. I grieve. I catch my breath.

By early December I start to see the path forward. Under the cold ground, the roots of growing things build their potential for the year ahead. This image of moss and birch leaves taken at the cottage last week captures a sense of life that lies waiting. A little more than three weeks from now, the days will start to grow longer. We must prepare ourselves. Arctic high pressure systems will bring clear, cold weather revealing the sky.

During the season of mulch and breaking down I learned some things about the creative process. It is a life-long lesson. Photovember helped me maintain an outward focus. I hope you enjoyed the visual fruits of the month. Now this blog will return to regular programming.

Welcome December with arms wide open. The first step in a journey is deciding to make it. What hopes and endeavours appear on your horizon?

6 thoughts on “Welcome December

  1. Van, some of your photos would not be out of place in an exhibit of northern photography, with the likes of Jim Brandenburg. This is one of them, IMO. Well done.

    What hopes and endeavors? To write again. To do something creative again. To find a job I like that doesn’t leave me wiped out at the end of the day and the end of the workweek. Just for starters.

    1. That is high praise. Thank you, Joe. There were moments in my life when I wished I could just give up words and do photography, visual art or music composition. So far writing has never let me go very far without it, even though it is hard to do well.

      I would like to encourage you in those hopes and endeavours.

  2. It’s nice to read you again.

    On my horizon is learning to care for myself a little more, instead of riding the cusp of exhaustion all summer long. I missed the winter introversion this year due to travelling and never caught up on sleep. I need to look after myself. I need to focus on the long plan.

    1. How do you find the balance between focusing on the present and long term? The big picture can be stress-inducing. A day-at-a-time approach helped me get some freelance work going, and helped me accept the slow days of fall without getting too anxious or depressed about it. But I’m not sure about the big picture. It seems to change constantly with experience. Sometimes I would like a clearer view of my guiding star.

      1. I’m really not sure myself, Van. I’m very much finding my way at the moment, trying to figure out how to take my life and career where I want it to go and put in the work I need to get there, and at the same time keep my current life ticking over. It’s very easy to lose myself in the day-to-day of gardening, taiko, writing, etc. and avoid doing the bigger jobs like updating my resume, researching potential employers, looking at training courses and generally taking the steps that will make a dream become reality.

        There’s so much I want to do that I find it overwhelming and get stressed and anxious, so I’m trying to break it down into smaller steps with clear tasks and time-frames. It’s helping, but I’m currently rubbish at prioritising my actions and always over-estimate what I can cope with (or under-estimate my need for down-time and fun).

        It’s the first time in years I’ve had a clear idea of what I want to do, and I’m excited by that. Having vision and passion is great and tells me I’m on the right path. I’ve just got to hold on to that vision and that feeling of certainty, which is hard when it’s so far away and there’s all the “now” to be lived. I keep reminding myself: don’t choose to be ordinary.

        I guess we’ll see how it all turns out!

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