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Fresh starts and gentle reminders...

Our guest blogger for January 2020 is Leslie Alfin.

Photo courtesy of the family of Chuck Houghton

One of the things I love most about turning the calendar page to January is the sense of newness that arrives every December 31st at the stroke of midnight. A time when the slates are wiped clean and a fresh start can begin whether it’s revisiting old challenges in a new way or beginning something previously thought impossible.

One of the things I try to do every year is to remind myself how lucky I have been to be able to spend most of my life in and around the southern Berkshires. I remember vividly as a child waiting for, with great anticipation, the signs that a new season has begun whether Spring with the return of the songbirds or daffodils popping up from under a late snow; Summer with its day lilies and chicory alongside the country roads; Autumn with its riotous colors and leaf bouquets for mom; Or winter with the jingling of chains on the ploughs and snow days on our sleds at a neighbors backyard hill overlooking the icy creek. Our natural surroundings were sewn into our lives just as our mittens were threaded through our jackets to guard against losing something warm and nurturing.

While the words may be cliché, the impact is not. Life happens and even with the best of intentions we so often allow our natural surrounds to fade in importance, replaced by the noise, speed and general chaos that challenge most of us daily.

So on the first day of this new decade I'd like to remind us to take a few moments every day to cherish the view outside our southern Berkshire windows whether it’s the sparkle of a pine tree frosted with ice, a flaming cardinal at the birdfeeder, the winter landscape with low hanging clouds hugging the top of Mount Everett or the shimmer of a winter's sun on Prospect Lake--we will wear the local natural beauty just as we did our mittens, threaded through our lives to guard against the loss of warmth and nurturing.

Happy New Year to you and yours from Friends of Prospect Lake.

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