On New Year’s Day, my family gathered at my mom’s house for dinner together in honour of what would have been my Dad’s 72nd birthday. In the afternoon as the turkey was cooking in the oven, we all headed outside. The weather was cold and crisp, the sky clear.

Afternoon Booked Solid

With all the rain and snow melt from the previous week the field behind her house had a huge puddle.

We called it Lake Oma.

It didn’t take long for the kids to start throwing rocks in the water and digging little rivers with sticks. Pretty soon one of the uncles dragged over a little old boat, and before you know it, the cousins were taking turns floating on Lake Oma.

As the sun was setting most of us headed back to the house. We stood on the deck and enjoyed each other’s company in the splendour of a gorgeous end of the first day of 2023.

Beauty Matters

Coincidentally (is there even such a thing) the first book I read this year was I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by New York Times bestselling author Shauna Niequist. In chapter 11, Shauna writes about seeking out beauty as a way of living, as a value, and as a statement of faith. As I read this, I was reminded the beauty I experienced the first day of the year.

As I watched the sun go down on that first, bittersweet day of the new year, like she writes, “Creation reminded me that we’re part of a bigger whole, and that beauty matters and so does play.” I appreciate that she named the importance of seeking out beauty absolutely every chance we get, as an act of prayer, as an act of worship, as an act of resistance, particularly during dark days.

The last couple of years have been darker than most and while I am truly no good at New Year’s resolutions, for 2023, as an act of faith, I am committing to seeking out beauty and play.