I love the concept of a “new year”.
I always have. As I said this time last year, I like to regard the period between New Year’s Day and my birthday, which follows closely after, as a time of quiet contemplation – to look back over the accomplishments (or otherwise) of the year before, and make some decisions about directions and priorities for the year ahead.
This coming year is the year of the water dragon in Chinese astrology and “will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity.” With predictions of Armageddon by some religious groups (12/12/2012), and with Nostradamus purportedly predicting the end of the world on a date which coincides with the end of the Mayan Calendar (21/12/2012), many people are watching global natural disasters and political unrest with pessimistic interest.
For my husband and myself, this New Year marks the move from Bangkok, an Asian city of between 12 and 16 million people, to a small Australian coastal town of just over 3000. It also marks our shift from busy paid employment to slightly less-busy, mostly-unpaid employment.
The coming year will also see small changes in my “Wanders”. We will still be “globe-trotting” for work and family commitments – and for fun and photography – and we already have plans in six countries. But we will be exploring Australia, especially our own corner of it, a bit more. I may even get back to the archives and relive some “previously unpublished trips”.
So, watch this space.
In the meantime, we will spend New Year’s eve and day unpacking: we’re surrounded by boxes and furniture from two separate locations piled into a house that is smaller than either.
But, we will always take time to count our blessings.
The photos here comprise a portrait of a Buddha on a hill in the middle of small roads and jungle in the Western reaches of Thailand. It was around this time last year that we were driving past it daily from our hotel on the River Kwai Noi as we played hosts to relatives from overseas. One of our guests asked if we could stop and see the Buddha up close; it hadn’t occurred to me to visit it because, living in Thailand, I had become so accustomed to buddhas on every hill!
As Buddha images go, it was a nice one. And it provides us with a timely reminder to stop and smell the flowers – and to pay respects to the Buddhas – especially in these “unpredictable” times.
Now I need to get back to unpacking; if the world is to descend into chaos, I want a orderly house!
Wishing you peace and happiness in the coming year.