New Year’s Words

Avantouinti is the Finnish word for winter swimming,
Träumen is the German word for dream,
Elske is the Norwegian word for love,
Mod is the Swedish word for courage.
Decades drawn to New Year’s tradition of polar swimming

I will if you will is the greatest response for a true friend’s crazy idea.
It doesn’t take much to propel me into something
just a quick, 
no way I don’t believe you can do that; no way you shouldn’t do that
is all it’ll take.
Only our children as audience
and really,
it’s all we should ever truly see before us
as me move ahead 
dip in a 46 degree salty, northern sea
would never have happened without
first pregnancy’s swell 
desire for a natural birth.
So much secure reflection 
in proving doubt wrong 
as we move ahead.
1.  Hug.  I can remember all the greatest hugs I’ve had, and maybe it’s the joy of a seldom-hugger like me.  When I’ve needed them most, when I’ve least expected them, hugs have resonated into a happier, at times reminiscent, present.  Picture my first t-shirt of 2012 Reformed Non-Hugger.  I’m greeting 2012 with open arms.
2.  Read.  I’m carving out time for our family to behave as readers.  It seems like I read after midnight, paragraphs lit by nightlight.  I read to our children everyday, but I want to still our home as we all look at books independently.  I want our children to see how I make time to sit and read from a much loved book each day amidst all that needs to be done.  I remember my parents always making time for books, and memories of us all immersed in a chapter of our own some sunny sailboat afternoon are some of my favorites.
3.  Write.  I write in black ink, unorganized and prolifically. Napkins, ferry schedules and fancy journals all hold somethin‘ of a spark.  In the last two years I’ve written two plays and am confidently moving towards another genre in 2012.  In early October I received a manilla envelope with the most perfect, most amazing opportunity for a book.  I need to carve out time for this project in order for it to become a beautiful manuscript, an exciting book held in eager, smiling hands.   
In keeping with my resolution number two, after brunch’s bacon and extra sides of espresso I read a great article on Warren Miller entitled The Man Who Invented Winter.  He lives on a neighboring island, shares my love of salty seas and snowy peaks and I’m rather smitten with the idea of calling him for a cup of coffee.  I can’t compare it to my suppressed urge to visit Salinger while an undergrad in New Hampshire by any means, but the conversation would undoubtedly be cool.  
I’ve alway been a poet, and as I move though life I can say with certainty I’m a storyteller.  It’s in that belief, that one urge Warren Miller’s quote resonates with me as I write this blog:  

So I gradually became a storyteller.  I didn’t know whether I became the story or the story became me.  But the desire to share what I did this weekend really became an important part of my life.

Happy New Year.  
Thank you for coming here.


  • Love your thoughts on reading independently yet as a family. Love your photo is this post – it says so much. Looking so forward to watching/reading along as your dreams unfold this year.

  • Elissa says:

    your #2 is also on my heart… but OH so difficult with my boys who are good readers but have little desire to sit still to read a book on their own.

    i too am a bit of a reformed hugger… sort of. 😉
    my 2012 t-shirt should probably say “i'm not repressed, i'm scandinavian.”

  • Kristen says:

    These sound like great resolutions to me. You are a great writer…glad to hear you'll be doing more of it!

  • Angela says:

    Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts on family reading!

  • i like the simplicity of your resolutions. hug, read and write. those are sorta the only things one needs, right?

    i am excited about your book and look forward to hearing more about it.

  • Kelsie says:

    Girl, you got a sister from across the state. I, too, love to shed the past year in an icy dip.

    I also come from a reading family. We used to have reading dinners where everyone ate dinner with a book in hand. No conversation, just silence. Now that I look back, that was probably my mom's tricky way of reading without being disturbed.
    I am reading the Outlander series by Diana Babaldon. Wonderful beyond words. What are you reading?
    -Kelsie from the vast Palouse

  • here's to a wonderful wonderful 2012!
    I look forward to enjoying your photos and words this year.
    The icy dip I can probably do without but I'm with your for the hugging, reading, writing.

  • Ooh. I'm excited to hear more about the writing project. Love your turn to family reading. We've always read TO Juniper, maybe it's time to start simply reading in her presence.

    Happy New Year!!

  • ashley says:

    Am in live with your simple presentation of such big, important resolutions. Am taking the reading on board in our home too. Happy 2012 to your beautiful family. X ashley

  • Hug, Read, Write. I love how you're already charging into those very beautiful, very important words of resolution.

    And I bow to you, Miss Polar Bear. For as it turns out, I am only a summer Selke. I leave the 40-degree waters to awesome people like you…
    Happy New Year! xoHeather

  • MJ says:

    Beautiful intentions, and words as usual. I want to tell you that you are one of my favorite writers, and inspire me to be better. And you should meet with Warren Miller, you have nothing to lose!!!
    Happy New Year!

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