On the dawn of the day that symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts for many people, I did what I always do: I walked my dog. Our walking ritual usually involves a one mile trek on a country road shouldered by a pine forest. When I walk, my thoughts are usually all over the place, keeping cadence with Jolie's prancing paws (yes she prances). It's a quiet retreat and often a place where I gain a renewed spirit in less than 20 minutes. Most of the time my thoughts are about trees or leaves or birds or the doe and her twin babies that live near the stop sign. But January 1, 2015 was a bit different. I found a small story treasure in the road.
Here's how I envisioned this scene:
It's New Year's Eve and the final moments of 2014 are ticking down to seconds. On this moonlit road as you're driving homeward, you smoke your last and in a ceremonial gesture you toss the pack out the window leaving one lone cigarette announcing the determination of your decision. I imagine your face is a twisted blend of hope, loss, and "oh no, what have I done?"
It's January 2nd and once again I'm walking down the same road. I wondered how you were doing. Is this your first time? Do you have any support? Have you already given up? I turn at the half mile mark and head toward home but this time I see an addition to my story treasure: an empty blue pack.
Your passenger, in a Thelma and Louise gesture of friendship, joins you by tossing out the empty blue pack of American Spirits. It rolls down the chip and tar road as your car drives away putting distance between the two of you and the nicotine.
What have you tossed out your window this year? Who will be there to support you?
May this year be the year of renewal for you and yours.