Monday, January 01, 2007


Today has been one of those days that I wish could last forever. After last night's snow storm, it is something of a winter wonderland out there. Of course, you all know how happy that makes me. Not only is there snow, but also a bright sun (now setting) to make it all the more beautiful.

In the middle of the night, Anu and I went out into the woods. The combination of light from the city and the snow created a glow that seemed to radiate somewhere from within the forest. I kid you not, I stepped out my (front) door and into the world of Narnia. Once we were deep enough into the woods I let Anu off of her leash to run while I simply sat in a heap of snow and tried to drink it all in. When we first left the house I was slightly disgruntled that no one else was adventurous enough to join me. But once we got out there I couldn't help but be glad we were alone--just Anu and I.

There was a part of me that was nervous about being in the middle of the woods alone at night (we live in the city, after all). But there was a bigger part of me that felt like the luckiest person in the entire world. I'm really not sure if I have ever experienced such a beautiful winter night. Maybe. But I doubt it. The trees were heavy with snow from top to bottom. We had the woods to ourselves except for the deer and fox who make their homes there. I found myself wishing I had a way to communicate what I was seeing. But, really, it was just too incredible to describe.

It's been a peaceful day. My mom headed back home after lunch and, since then, I've just been enjoying the natural pace of the day. The whole world feels a little bit happier today. Or is it just me? I don't know...but I'm beginning to believe deeply in the ripple effect of our moods. Today my neighborhood is happy (or seems to be). When we see each other we exchange waves and hellos and even a few hugs. Today is a day for new beginnings and the trickle effect it is having feels good.

I think I was starting to feel like this place was never going to "fit" quite right. I don't know why, exactly; that's just the way I've felt. But over time we've started to grow closer to our neighbors; the waiters at our favorite restaurant and neighborhood coffee shop recognize us and are glad to see us; I met a really incredible fellow artist yesterday (we recognized each other from running into each other somewhere else); I'm beginning to learn my way around; and in this big, big city it is starting to be the sort of place that when I go places, I see people I know--people from the bookstore or the garden shop or my neighborhood or (like yesterday) just someone I randomly met somewhere else...and, well, it feels good. I like being able to be anonymous once in awhile...but I also like feeling like I belong to something, too. Slowly, slowly I'm beginning to find a balance here.

Last night, while my mom sat on the couch writing a letter to a friend and V. did whatever he does on his computer, I sat down in my chair with a cup of tea and made my yearly list of accomplishments for 2006. It's been another big year of change in my life and, although the list was not necessarily as exciting as the lists I've made in past, I decided that I am happy with the progressions my life has made. It has been an interesting year, full of new heartaches and stress and happiness. It has been a full year--one that has provided me a lot of room for GROWTH. And yeah...I guess with growth comes growing pains.

In some ways I've been struggling with the idea that I am not moving ahead far enough or fast enough. But the truth is that this is exactly where I need to be right now. This is it. Right here, right now. I have beat myself up more than a few times for only working in a bookstore and only working in a garden shop. I feel like I am meant for something more, something else. But the thing is that before I got either of these jobs I decided that I needed to slow my life down enough to heal the things inside of me that needed healing. I needed a break from life as I knew it--and I've gotten it. For that, I am thankful.

About 10 years ago I decided that I wouldn't make New Year's resolutions anymore. I felt like they did little more than make me feel bad about myself. That was the year that I started making a list of accomplishments instead. I've carried on the tradition ever since. But, last night, when I was walking out in the woods, I decided that this year I want make a list of intentions to accompany the experiences of this past year. As I was walking there was one thing that came to me, strong and clear:

This year I want to allow magic back into my life.

There was a lot more that went along with this thought but, for now, that is the most I am able to share. With too much school, magic somehow got buried under too much critical and cynical thinking. Actually, I buried a lot of important parts of myself. I used to believe in a lot of things. After awhile I began to notice that I didn't really believe in much of anything anymore. Maybe it wasn't just school or the people that I was in contact with on a daily basis that made me feel that way. It might have been a combination of a lot of things that simply caused too much stress in my life. My spirit just sort of shut down for awhile. But, these days, I feel myself reawakening. It's a process, but there is a part of me that is opening back up--like a door in my heart; I feel it opening.

And so this year I dedicate to Magic. In all its forms.
...because I can feel it--this year is going to be unlike any other.


liz elayne said...

i just want to curl up inside this blog post. (does that sound odd? i hope not, but that is the first thing that came to me after i read it. all the wisdom here and the wonder and hope for magic...just want to curl up in it)

now that you have put it out there into the world, i can't wait to see how magic is manifested in your life!

kj said...

oh jessie, you are so special. you always end up inspiring me to push past my comfort zone.

sometimes i feel like i am your guardian angel, jessie. go figure....

Anonymous said...

i'm with you girl!

although, really, you always seemed like a pretty magical person to me... and i met you during that cynical spirit-crushing time, so that's saying something :)

happy new year and lots of love to you ! e

megg said...


and me, too!

Anonymous said...

i can't wait to see how
this transpires in your day to day
this could be very interesting

beautiful post.

Jamie said...

Oh, Jessie, I just loved going on that walk with you out into the woods. What a magical adventure to go on already, especially with its reminders of Narnia (which btw I believe I was watching as you were out - can you believe it?)

I made a list of accomplishments this year too. It really made me feel great to see how far I came in 2006. Sometimes I can be rather focused on how much farther I want to go!

And you know, you must have made absolutely the right choices to put you in this place, right here, right now, to be ready to let the magic back in. It's going to be a joy to behold.

Anonymous said...

i don't think what liz said was odd at all, even though she didn't ask me for my opinion...LOL. that's what i wanted to do too...

you are pure, unadulterated magic already, lovely. i can't wait to see the exponential beauty that you attract to your life.

Vesper said...

i got so excited when i read this!!! first of all the snow....which is one of my fave things in the world! and your description is so lovely...i can just picture it. then your thoughts about work and where you are headed. it's so beautiful! i'm excited for you. that realization that you are exactly where you need to be is a very freeing one. it sets a certain fire beneath you....

deirdre said...

I love magic and am happiest when I believe in its sparkle. This is a beautiful intention, far better than any resolutions or goals.

bella said...

Oh, my darling girl - you have no idea how bad I want to be your best friend! LOL.
Here's to a year full of magic! May all of your wishes come true.

melba said...

Happy New Year friend!

melba said...

Did you just erase a post that was after this one?
Anyway I read it and I hope your day is getting better. sending you love!


Jessie said...

melba--yeah...i deleted it because it was dumb and i was just whining. my back is killing me. gah. it makes me write stupid things. thanks for your comment though. :P

Ces said...

What a lovely, lovely post. I truly enjoyed reading every paragraph. You are so special Jessie. I always leave your blog inspired.

Anonymous said...

oh Jessie--

This foray into the wooded winter wonderland was the first step into your year of MAGIC, non?

I resonated so strongly with what you wrote here especially about beating myself up for not doing or being more . ..

FYI, our dog Henry is half Sharpei-half yellow lab

Email me if you have any more questions I can talk about him til I'm blue in the face . . . heee


Anonymous said...

Jessie -
this is exactly one of my
desires for the new year -

i always look for magic - wait
for magic - peek around the
corner and under the rug...

for magic...:)

Anonymous said...

Jessie -
I've missed reading your blog! Thank you for your comments on mine, your anniversary wishes. Hopefully we can see each other soon----Adam and I are trying to plan a trip to the Cities, so maybe then. I'll let you know.

I love your woods. Are they YOURS? I can't picture where you guys live.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for magic! Is there anything better?