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Photographs by Meadow Linn

Monday, January 27, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New


I feel like there’s a big shift about to take place.

It reminds me of that brief moment, after a long drought, before the rain comes, when the sky changes color, the wind stops, and there’s heaviness in the air. The storm that’s brewing is hardly outwardly perceptible; yet, you can feel the impending explosion. Then, suddenly, the clouds open up and sheets of water begin to fall. And you know that the land will forever be changed.

This month feels like such a moment. In my own way, I feel like the storm head, growing and building, and when I release, I will find myself at the debut of something exciting and wondrous. I feel this sense of change acutely in my own life; however, from my conversations with friends, it sounds as though there are many others who also feel these rumblings.

On January 1st, the first day of the New Year, we had a New Moon. This is the first time in 19 years that this has happened. Traditionally, the new moon is a time for staring anew.

New Year. New Moon. New beginnings.

This particular New Moon was in Capricorn, which I’ve heard is a great energy for letting go of the things that don’t serve you and opening the door to renewal and rebirth. This is also supposed to be a good time to cut ties from the past (if necessary), release negative patterns or habits, and initiate new projects.

I didn’t know any of this as the previous year drew to a close; however, I could feel something afoot. Like a butterfly that waits in its chrysalis before spreading its wings, it feels as though this month is a time of gestation for the new beginnings that await us in the New Year.

Out of the blue, the day before New Year’s Eve, I received a call from an ex-boyfriend. Although it’s been eight years since we were together, I think somewhere deep within, we may have both been holding a very small spark of hope that one day we’d resolve our differences and make it work. As I hadn’t heard from him in ages, the timing of the call was uncanny. Whether he was aware of it or not, he gave me an amazing gift. I finally feel free.

I was shocked when I discovered that there was a teeny bit of my heart subconsciously pining for what could have been. It was a joy to talk to him, and I’m grateful we were able to reconnect. However, his well-timed arrival into my life at this time of new beginnings has allowed me an opportunity to exorcise the past, so that I may move forward into my future with increased strength, awareness, and openness to whatever may come. My heart is open.

In addition to this ex-boyfriend popping into my life, since the New Year, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues from the past keep showing up in assorted manner. I’ve been receiving e-mails from former colleagues I haven’t heard from in a long time, and posts on Facebook from friends I lost touch with years ago keep arriving in my feed. Additionally, I’ve been having the most intense and detailed dreams about people from my past. My dreams have been filled with friends that at one point were the center of my world, but over time we’ve grown apart or lost touch as our lives took us in different directions. I’ve really been enjoying all of these reunions in the nighttime hours. However, I don’t think it’s just by chance that they’re happening now. It feels as though the Universe is energetically tying up loose ends.

I’m welcoming my future with open arms. I have a strong feeling that this will be the year that I fall in love. I feel it in the air.

Do you feel the energy of new beginnings in this New Year? What steps are you taking to release and renew? If you don’t know where to start, clear out your closet or that drawer in your kitchen that seems to be a catch-all for the items you don’t know where else to put. Or, consider getting in touch with people from your past to either reconnect or cut ties. Here’s to moving into the New Year with grace and ease. 

And, as I’ve been saying to myself all month, “Bring it on, Future!”


 New You Braised Vegetables

As part of this clearing out process, I decided to empty my refrigerator. The happy result was the creation of this recipe that has quickly become my new winter favorite. It’s both healthy and delicious—a perfect combo for the New Year. I love the balance of the tart vinegar with the sweet beets and apple. How often do you eat the broccoli florets and then pitch the stems? I always feel so sad to throw away such good food. But, it turns out that this is a great way to use them.

I like the aesthetics of having all the vegetables slices be about the same size and shape, approximately ½” wide and 2” long. Plus, it ensures more even cooking. But you can experiment to see what works best for you. 

Serves 4

½ green cabbage, sliced
2 lg. red beets, peeled and sliced
3 broccoli stalks, peeled and sliced (make sure you get all the peel off)
1 apple (fuji, gala, or similar), peeled, cored, and sliced
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
salt, to taste

Place everything in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightly fitting lid. Start on low and gradually increase the heat to medium once the vegetables begin to release their natural juices. Since there is very little liquid in this recipe, it’s important to keep an eye on the pot and stir occasionally. However, do so quickly to keep as much steam contained in the pot, as this is important to the cooking. Cook until the vegetables are soft and flavorful, about 2 hours.