I like to begin with a fresh journal for the new year but this morning I realized that I have many blank pages left in the book I have been using. I had made a journal in the fall that I love, a quiet rose brown cover, pale rose pages and decorative painted paper that suggests a rose garden. I put it out for sale praying that no one would buy it so that I could use it for my winter mornings. It is still in my studio. this morning before dawn the path down the hill was dark and temps in the twenties so I decided to write a bit in the "old" journal begun in the fall. I ended up writing my new year intentions in it and realized that I needed to just continue until I filled the pages and promised myself the rose journal in the spring. On the way to the barn I stopped and looked at the fresh book. I turned to the back inside cover where I place the name of each book and saw that the title I had given it was "Quiet Waiting Journal." I knew immediately that the book was intended for my daughter not for me. She is going through a time that will require much patience and she loves pink and roses. Whatever she uses it for, the intention of "quiet waiting" is for her.
Many years ago a wise woman, Jan Lowry, suggested that I keep my journals as "letters to God". I have done that, beginning early on "Dear God" and moving on through parental names to a more intimate and comfortable salutation these days. I have poured my inner world onto the pages, pleading, raging, thanking and laughing mostly at my ridiculous dramas and self-told tales. I have worked through divorces, brain tumors and IRS audits, upheavals and joyful moves. I have worked out plans and poems on those pages. Because they are letters, I am surrendering my life's gifts and detritus over and over to a greater power and presence than my little theatrical ego. I am so grateful for this "divine therapy" that joins my other practices of Centering Prayer and the Twelve Steps.
Not everyone writes or wants to. I do not have a rule about writing every day and sometimes things are so painful that they have to be written about in retrospect. I will send the rose journal to my daughter for her "quiet waiting" period and she can do with it what feels right, even if it is only to have it around. What is clear however, is that my plans and notions of what will be right and my need for "freshness" in the new year have nothing to do with what needs to happen and I am most blessed when I am open and move at the pace of guidance. When I can do that I learn.