The new year brings many resolutions and my continuing pursuit of Buddist learning and practice. I have been reaping many personal benefits from meditation practice and can feel the calm deep in my being, but mostly, I am amazed at the ripples through family life. The children are enjoying occasional meditation and thinking about different concepts such as compassion and concentration. We purchased some wonderful new books, the most beautiful of which in terms of story and illustration is Mordicai Gerstein's The Mountains of Tibet . It's a lovely story about life, death, choice and the amazing expansiveness of the Universe. The kids have asked to read it over and over again! We're also enjoying A Pebble for Your Pocket by Thich Nhat Hanh and Kindness Sarah Conover.
The first day of the new year was absolutely gorgeous--over 65 degrees out and sunny. What a wonderful treat! Dh went bouldering while the kids, dog and I went on a quest for the Carderocks Letterbox. What a beautiful hike to a part of the park we'd never seen--thanks Wolfpack! We followed the clues, counted our paces, talked about what "triple" was and the other related words, worked on directionality--left and right, north, east, south and west. We had a glorious adventure, then hiked back over to the rocks to find Jim. The kids bouldered around a bit before we headed home for a tasty New Year's meal.
New Year's Eve we had spent with some friends, enjoying a bonfire and potluck dinner. The kids had a great time exploring in the woods, playing fusball, lighting sparklers, making party hats and wish coins, and bringing in the New Year with a bang (at about 7:00!). Sam loved the sparklers and especially enjoyed this new kind of sword fighting. What a guy! The kids had so much fun at the party, even it was eventually a bit overwhelming. We all came home and settled down to watch the new extended version of Return of the King for the first time. I was the only one awake at midnight and ended up staying up until about 1:30 to finish the movie. What was I thinking?