Yesterday afternoon, I was out for a walk along the shore of a lake near my house. The trail was muddy but reasonably dry, and folks were out walking their dogs, jogging, strolling along in small, chattering groups, pushing babies in strollers.

In this holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, there’s lightness in the air. Happy hellos and deep belly laughter, kids’ squeals of delight and their parents’ relaxed, warm smiles met me along the trail.

A mother and her teenage daughter skipped by, their arms around each other’s waists. Daughter to mom: “You sound just like a horse!” Mom to daughter: “Skipping is more work than running!” More giggles. Laughter.

I crossed a wooden foot-bridge and leaned on the cedar railing to take a breath, to take in the beauty of the day. It was early afternoon, the sky a clear, cobalt blue with apricot-gold clouds scudding across it on a light breeze.

The breeze ruffled the waters of the lake. Halfway across the water, the mountain’s dark shadow met the reflection of bright blue sky, golden coins of sunlight, flashes of brown and white where wild geese rode the waves.

The line between dark and light rippled and danced as the two blended into each other — a swirl of water, shimmering sunlight, reflected rock.

Such beauty, unbidden, generous, abundant in its profligacy!

We live in a world of breathtaking generosity. It gives itself to us with the eagerness of a child offering a crayoned drawing, offering a daisy, offering a sticky hug — offering her vulnerability, his innocence and genius and need.

As I stand on the bridge between this year and next, I can see clearly, in both directions. The dark. The light. The places where they blend and mingle, a dancing chiaroscuro whose elements depend on each other for their flow and movement, for the pattern they make through their relationship with each other.

I don’t have special intentions for the New Year. Time loops and winds and turns on itself, a ribbon rather than a highway.

My intentions are grounded in everyday prayers.

May we discern the patterns that are seeking to be born. May we celebrate them with praise and delight. May we serve their unfolding with skill, love and devotion. May we weave our threads with theirs to bring Heaven down to Earth.

May each of us be a source of blessing, light and love in our world.

Thank you for dancing the dance, for weaving the patterns that are yours to weave, for sharing the view from the bridge with me.

I’m so grateful for each of you — for your presence, your participation, the blessing that is your life.

So much love to you all, as we dance the new year into being.