Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

What a great way to start a new year! We spent the weekend in Hilton Head so that we could visit friends.

On the eve of the new year we went to my good friend Mary Kelly's beautiful home across from the beach on the South end of the island. We shared her delicious pecan pie, my key lime pie and Irish coffee while meeting her family and friends who had gathered there earlier for dinner. Mary's home is FULL of her artwork - oil paintings, watercolors, full-size rubbings as well as her handspun, handwoven touches throughout! Each time I visit, I am so inspired by what she does. This time she shared a book recently published on one of the godesses whose cover is adorned with one of Mary's paintings. (The very large colorful painting was hanging on the wall.) Mary also provided illustrations for the inside of the book. She is amazing! The vibrancy of her color palette is a reflection of her energetic personality.

Mary had invited friends to welcome the new year on the beach. About 15 minutes before midnight, five of us grabbed flashlights, folding chairs, the basket full of plastic wine goblets and champagne and candles and hurricane lamps and started the short trek down to the beach. It was a really misty night -- one of those nights you can't see more than 10 feet in front of you! When we found our spot in the darkness... we could hear the fireworks at Tybee Island across the water, but couldn't see the light.

While Mary and my hubby struggled to light the candles in the soft moist breeze, I took my flashlight and walked slowly and carefully toward the sound of the surf. It got louder and louder but even with my flashlight, I couldn't see a thing! The sand changed from dry to wet ribs and I kept walking and waving my light from side to side. The sound got louder and louder and my heart was beating strongly in my chest as I wasn't sure how far I should go... Finally about 100 paces through the wet sand my flashlight found a thin ribbon-y white line... I was close to the surf. I took a few more steps but worried about getting wet so I stopped, focused on the thin white line and took some deep breaths to calm my heart... it was dark all around me except for a tiny light from my hubby's flashlight where they were working on the candles in the distance. I turned my gaze upwards... and there was the big dipper... the stars surrounded by colorful rings of light... it was breathtakingly beautiful. Yes, it literally, took my breath away! It was one of those incredible moments when you really feel connected with nature -- it was so spiritual!

I slowly made my way back to the group who had the chairs set up in a circle. We finally got three of the candles lit and set them up inside our circle. At the stoke of midnight we cheered and drank our champagne isolated fora moment on the sand in the darkness, focussed on the light and the warmth of old and new friends. A short distance from us... a group, who we could not see... lit a bonfire and set off some small fireworks in celebration. We never saw the people, but shared in their celebration!

THANK YOU Mary for sharing your special way of welcoming the new year with us!

New Years Day we went to the rented villa of our wonderful marina friends the Choquettes - Guy and Liliane and their children 14 yr old Paul and 12 yr old Genevieve. The Choquettes were spending a week in the warmer climate having driven down from their home in Montreal. After the New Year they were heading further south for a week at their favorite place - Disney World. Guy kept our glasses full of champagne and our bellies full with a delicious buffet! We really treasure their friendship and look forward to seeing them again next summer on Lake Champlain!

Ah... a new year... lots of things to look forward to....


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