Happy New Year! Sara and I spent the holidays with her sister in "sunny" California. I decided to take a walk - a long walk - on New Year's Day to prepare mind, body and spirit for promises of 2020 and beyond.
Eddy and Tom live high on a cliff over looking Santa Catalina Island (yep, 26 miles away as in the old song) and Pacific Ocean beyond it. A virtual paradise.
As I began my walk along the ocean side, I approached a group of about 15 people standing in a circle around 2 chairs, one empty except for 2 fading photographs, and one filled by a older woman reading from a notebook. Behind the empty chair stood a two men, one holding a horned skeleton head and the other holding a black flag. Four other flags of different colors were positioned to mark boundaries of a circle. I stopped, removed my hat, and stood outside the circle until invited to step inside - despite being a total stranger to this Native American celebration of the life of a departed relative.
When reading ended, white doves were removed from a box. Each person who wished to participate were given a dove which, on cue, was released in a flurry to fly to a destination unseen.
I don't have words to express the meaning of that encounter for me. Perhaps this picture offers words for you. Happy New Year!