good bye 2021…December, 2021 

I had a wonderful year of travel in 2021…hiking in new places, exploring & camping for hundreds of miles, adventuring out of my comfort zone & out of my country.  I always want more, so one of my hopes & goals for this year is to keep going & going & going.

There are so many different kinds of paths in our lives…some are the kind you love to be on, taking you into the forest or the top of a mountain with beauty all around; some are life changing, horrible & no one wants to be on that path; but some are just leading into the story of your life…always changing, sometimes taking you up a difficult climb & sometimes plunging you down into the unknown & sometimes filled with wonderful unexpected surprise.

The last path is the one I feel like I’ve been on in 2021 & one I hope to negotiate & learn from in 2022.

2020 will always be such a distinctive year in our time…the virus that changed what we knew as normal.  But the ramifications of so much that happened that year & flowing into last year, feels like it has changed life even more…or at least in my microscopic piece of life.  

I probably steer away from pop-culture, politics, & current events too often just to try to maintain some sort of sanity.  It’s difficult these days to know what the truth is, about so many things. I am good at spending time alone on the road & on the trail; I do this for months each year. But, I’ve always been outgoing, super-social & fun loving. I have always treasured my relationships & time with family, friends & acquaintances…they mean everything to me.  I still have a love of humans & believe that most people are kind & that we all have some good things in common; I’ve not become so jaded that I want to step back from the world, even while our world feels very divided.

But, I feel like in 2021 the world wants to step away from me.  

This year I have questioned a lot about myself: doubt & certainty have wrestled with each other.  I have looked deep inside for answers. There has been so much “quiet” in my days… more than I would like, especially when off the road & at home.  I walk, I read & listen to music. While I love to do all of those things, they are not replacements for the human connection.  And part of me feels starved for the joy that I’ve always found in those relationships. 

I’ve always thought I was good with change… but this path feels more difficult to traverse. 

And yet, there is a light inside me that keeps me moving forward.  I will move up this rocky trail with determination &  uncertainty both at my side, trying to learn as I go, keeping my mind & heart open. I’m not sure what’s around the next bend, or what lies ahead.

Today is the Winter Solstice & while we have the coldest part of our winter facing us, the days will get lighter, brighter & longer.  As my Yule log burns tonight, I’m making a point to let go of all the sadness & negativity from 2021 & wish upon the flames for all good things in 2022.

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And, then I need to get busy turning wishes into reality.

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