I have always enjoyed the motivation to begin again that comes with the start of a new year. That sense of the old passing and a new chapter beginning. 2016 has certainly been an eventful year on the world stage, and many are approaching 2017 with trepidation.
So, I close my eyes to old end and open my heart to new beginnings.
The advent of a new year allows us a moment to reflect on these events, both good and bad, before we turn to a new blank page, clean and unmarked, waiting to be filled. And to remember that whatever is going on in the world at large, we still have the power to act in our own lives and homes, creating good things.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
Edward Everett Hale
At night I like to look up at the sky, whatever the weather. It is humbling to gaze up at the stars and clouds and the deep dark hues and remember how vast the earth is and how small I am. I find this comforting for there is freedom to be found in knowing that I am not in control of the world at large.
But we are each responsible for ourselves, for how we choose to live out each day. Whether we will be kind and thoughtful both to kin and stranger, or be so caught up with what we ‘have to do’ that people become a frustrating inconvenience. Whether we choose to focus on what really matters or squander our time and energy on things that have no real significance.
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Tiny actions can have a profound effect and so we may be small but we have the power to add light to this increasingly dark world. Extending care, kindness and understanding to others is something each one of us can do, even to those who walk a very different path to ours. It helps to remember that it’s often those who seem to be the most undeserving of our care that need it the most.
So I’m approaching 2017 with hope, excitement and a determination to offer grace and goodwill to those around me, both near and far. And for those of you who read my ramblings and have supported my work over this past year I offer my heartfelt thanks and the lovely words of Neil Gaiman…
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
About the Artwork…
I have been working on and off for a while now on a series of illustrations of Watership Down, a wonderfully profound tale of a band of rabbits searching for a new home. The painting featured on this post is the latest to be completed.
The recent death of the book’s author Richard Adams has fuelled my motivation to continue this work and I’ll be sharing the series of drawings and paintings over the coming months.
In the meantime there are prints available of this artwork from The Honeybee and the Hare Etsy Shop