As a new year starts, thoughts turn to the promise of fresh beginnings. The ancient Black Mountains here in North Carolina are usually cloaked in the thick foliage of hardwood trees. Now that the leaves have fallen, the contours of the land can be seen. What was hidden most of the year is now revealed. Climbing a mountain, I pause to enjoy the broader view.
I frame this photo with the green of pines, one of the few bits of color remaining in the January landscape. The tawny peaks echo each other to the horizon, an endless range reaching to the chill sky dappled with clouds.
The mountains seem like metaphors. Winter is a time of apparent dormancy, but looking closely I see the tiny buds on trees and shrubs that will soon open into leaves and flowers. Days go by with no apparent change, but even now in winter’s stillness last year’s leaves are nurturing the life that will spring out when the time is right. There is no need to rush into the year. Like these forests, I will allow myself to draw strength from my past, and slowly unfold into my best self. I hope 2016 blossoms into a wonderful year for you!