Neither Quinn nor I are fans of New Year’s resolutions. Let’s face it…they are hard to make, and easy to break. Or to be more accurate – easy to come up with, but tough as leather to maintain. We all start off with the best of intentions; whether it be to lose weight, start exercising, quit smoking, or whatever. We do well for the first day, week, month. Then the honeymoon is over, the real world intrudes, and the next thing you know that resolution has gone down the drain. Old habits are hard to break, and new ones are even harder to break in.
But a word of the year… that’s easier. There’s no promises, no goals, no “thou shalts” or “thou shalt nots.” Just a theme. Just a word to set the tone for the year. A word with intention and purpose, but none of the expectations and punishments of a resolution. You don’t have to worry about walking around with a yardstick in your hand, constantly measuring yourself and coming up short.
After doing a bit of pondering and processing, I came up with my word…
I chose this word because it has so many meanings, amongst them being:
* The usually underground portion of a plant that serves as support, draws minerals and water from the surrounding soil, and sometimes stores food
* An essential part or element; the basic core
* A primary source; an origin
* A progenitor or ancestor from which a person or family is descended
* The condition of being settled and of belonging to a particular place or society
* The state of having or establishing an indigenous relationship with or a personal affinity for a particular culture, society, or environment
* To come into existence; originate
* To lend support to someone or something
All of these meanings really resonate with me. I returned back to my own roots a year ago in order to spend time with my mother, who passed away in May. As I cleaned up the house and prepared to turn it over to a family member, I found documents and photographs from my own ancestors – not only my parents, who have both passed on; but also grandparents and great-grandparents.
I’ve become more interested in genealogy and have begun researching my own origins. I know one of my ancestors came to America from England in 1632, while another didn’t arrive from Poland until the early 1900’s.
But beyond the concept of ancestry and homeland, roots also has other meanings for me.
We talk about roots being a source of support, a source of sustenance. I think a big theme for me this year will be finding that support, seeking that source of sustenance. After taking time out from the working world to care for my mother during the final stages of her battle against terminal cancer, I’m now looking to get back into the workforce again. I’m exploring the possibilities and investigating my options.
I seek my support from various cultures, societies, and environments. I’m a member of both the Deaf Community and the Pagan Community. I’m a woman, I’m a writer, I’m a healer, I’m a survivor. I draw upon my many experiences, as well as my knowledge and skills, to nourish me and sustain me and give me strength.
I go out into the woods and walk amongst the trees, and marvel at what they have to teach me. I look up in the sky and watch the birds soaring in the wind, and marvel at the joy and freedom they exhibit. I am reminded of the quotation about giving our children “roots and wings.”
It has taken me fifty years to realize the value of the roots my parents have given me.
So my theme for the year is to return to my origins, and to come into my own existence. To discover my basic core, and learn those essential parts of myself. To draw deeply from the fertile soil of my being. To find the place where I belong. To establish relationships. And to lend support to others doing the same.
To celebrate my roots.
What about you, Dear Reader? Have you come up with a “Word of the Year” for yourself? If so, feel free to share what YOUR word is in the commentary section below, and what that word means to you!