Today is Epiphany. In the Christian faith it celebrates the baptism of Jesus. It also celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus. Epiphany is also a word to describe a sudden insight. What insights do you have on this day? How do you see 2024 evolving and what can you do to make your own world better?

Today is also the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Bill and I sat frozen in front of the TV that day, watching the PBS feed, feeling the fear of journalists and our Congress, crouching beneath counters while an angry mob coursed through the Capitol, and finally after it was dispersed, returning to a certification of the election, despite the unprecedented raid on democracy.

In the news of the greater world today, we learn of great divides. We hear many points of view, each claiming they are right and the other is wrong. How do we step back from the teetering precipice of either/or and see the bigger picture of our shared humanity and what we can each do to stay connected and care for our dear Earth, her plants, animals, water, air, and land. There must be an answer besides violence and wasting resources on weapons to kill others.

Our son Raymond took this selfie of Bill and I, along with his partner Gino and their doggie Rogelio on New Year’s Eve 2023

I wonder how we can discern what is true. For me it is writing and speaking as truly as I know how, asking myself if what I am communicating is necessary, kind and true. How do you find what is true for you?

In reflecting on the past year, I am grateful for the people in the stories I’ve written, and their willingness to be written about. I am grateful that we traveled to Hawaii to see my sister and her family in Maui, and our friends on the Big Island. I was sad to learn the fate of Lahaina burning last summer. I celebrated my 50th high school reunion near Milwaukee WI, and was heartened to travel throughout the friendly heartland state, staying with family and friends who renewed my faith in simple connection. I spent a week in Maine at a reunion of friends, one I’ve known since 1960, and the others I met through her in 1973. I discovered there can be misunderstandings from things I’ve written and hope the frayed connection can be repaired.

Our son took this photo New Year’s evening, of Rogelio, the much loved dog of Raymond and Gino

Bill and I spent Sept. 15 to Dec. 15 on the road, camping in our tiny Marion, only 11 feet long and 7 feet wide. The days spent in her loving space brought an appreciation for living simply and resolving the little things that cropped up occasionally between we two very independent-thinking people. I never tired of walking 200-plus steps to an outhouse or bathroom under a starry night, or fetching water to cook and wash with. The people and landscapes of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, infused my outlook with a faith in humanity and a passion to care for the sweetness of our Earth.

What epiphanies do you have? What is important and real and dear?

Our cat Ollie reminds us daily of the importance of eating, napping and enjoying each other’s company. Photo by Kate Poss
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