Thoughts at the Arrival of the Year of the Metal Ox (Spring Festival 2021)
I went for a walk on New Year's morning. Deep in the crispy snow-covered woods. Along a frozen coast--brisk wind blowing with sting from the northeast. The winter sun shining through slumbering tree canopies. A flock of small birds drinking and flitting in watery pools on a solitary dirt road. My mind, as ever, alive with thoughts.
It is closing in on three years since I came to a crossroads. In truth, the crossroads came to me, slugging me in the head, the heart, and the gut. It arrived with a speed and potency that I did not expect. I suffered loss. My children suffered loss. A loss young men should never have to suffer.
At a time in my life when I had not intended change, not changing was no longer an option. When I re-awoke, I embraced it, renewing focus on a lifelong passion. In thirty-four months and counting, I am surrounded by new relationships, new friends, and new love. I am involved with new writing, new publishing, and new speaking. And each of these touches upon, swirls around, and embodies China and aspects of Chinese culture, Chinese history, and so much more.
My new path is an active one, made more so because I still travel the old path at the same time. Not necessarily ideal, but necessary nonetheless. It is the latter that keeps a roof over my head, puts food in my belly, and provides me the opportunity to pursue these new adventures.
I have always had wanderlust, a curiosity never quenched. Within the new world we occupy, satisfying such needs has blossomed from often the physical and far to include the daily remote and very near. I am happy. I am grateful. I am in uncharted territory. It is all quite exciting. I am fortunate.
Happy Year of the Metal Ox.