New Year’s Day just passed and everyone is talking about beginnings and goals and thinking about the accomplishments of the year gone by. But somehow, January 1st seems like an arbitrary beginning to me. It’s just not the time when I am ready to take stock of the year and make plans for the new.
As an educator, January feels like the middle. In some ways we have just really gotten started on our learning this year. Everyone has settled in, we’ve figured out how to operate as a learning community, and with the holidays behind us we are ready to surge forward!
And then the Weekly Photo Challenge presented this week’s prompt–beginnings–and I started to think about how sometimes beginnings and endings are hard to distinguish. Kinda like the chicken and egg dilemma. Which comes first? Which is the beginning and which is the end?
In my pursuit of interesting photos today I found myself at the lagoon–that space where the ocean mingles with fresh water creating a complex environment teeming with life. It was nearly sunset when I arrived and the briny air was chilled by the gentle sea breezes as the impending fog bank rested off shore.
The tide was out, exposing the mud flats, presenting a banquet for the marsh loving birds.
Is this marsh the beginning of the ocean or the end of the river? Is sunset the end of the day or the beginning of the evening?
I’m not so sure it really matters that we have “hard” starts and stops, but it definitely matters that we take time to reflect, consider the experiences we have, and move forward with intention. I may not do this on January 1st (or December 31st), but I do take the time at regular intervals to consider my work and my life and make adjustments to its course.
And sometimes I just take the time to pause and appreciate the moment. Maybe that, too, is a beginning.