Children, children, children. My year was joyfully, awesomely, challengingly, raucously, quietly, ridiculously, perfectly full of children.

Crunch, snap, squish, crunch – so many walks through the woods.

Very little snow. Very many days of feeling so, so hot, melting.

The fat, glorious abundance of organic food from our CSA farm. Eating more tomatoes than any other year or decade of my life. The thrill of the first strawberries and the smell of them warmed by the sun. Walking into the field to quietly pick this or that at the end of each week. Food, food, food.

Reading, as always. This year, especially reading beautiful picture books and some amazing novels.

Stitching, cutting, sketching, creating. Selling felt ornaments and papercuttings to glow in windows. Knitting the same sock all year long.

Cups of tea and discussion group meetings and conversations that spring up anyplace. Learning more to listen and wait.

Singing, singing, singing, all year long.

Telling stories.

Performing as a silly elf in puppet show after show and knowing, secretly, that there is something profound at the center of all of this. Magic is underway. Watching children’s wide eyes gazing as paper snowflakes fall or a marionette gestures.

Holidays, festivals! Singing as wax is poured into the earth, calling forth warmth and spring. Special baked treats, chocolates. Plays and dances. Candles and crystals in the dark.