I’m away from home and out of my usual element. I’m absent from schedules and thinking time and my own bed. I miss my bed. I have a pain running between my shoulder blades, and I wonder if it’s the unfamiliar mattresses or if that’s where I’m carrying the weight of what’s left of this year. I feel it bearing down on me, begging for one last look before the new one arrives.

These last few weeks have been busy with very little time for wonderings and wanderings. I’ve tried to squeeze together a few moments, but mostly it’s been a holiday of here, there and everywhere. I went so far as to sit in my parked mini van while the rest of my family watched The Muppet Movie on the big screen. I had a pen, and with it I swept up the crumbs of moments and memories I wanted to keep, and placed them in a red Meade notebook. It was good, good but also impossible to place the year neat and tidy onto college ruled lines.

I think 2011 is more deserving of a collage in all of it’s colorful, chaotic glory. It would look like castles against a gray sky, rolling hills and water falls, three grinning faces, and pretty words strung up in a row. It would smell like the sea and the cold mountain air that hurts going down. It would sound foreign and familiar, a symphony of laughter and tears and looks that say more than words could ever do. And it would feel like giving birth, over and over again.

Yes, that’s exactly it. It felt like giving birth, like carrying the weight of something beautiful in my womb and then watching it come to life before my eyes. It wasn’t without pain and more than a few sleepless nights, but the joy in watching my dreams take their first breath was worth every bit of the laboring.

Thank you for coming alongside me this year. You are midwives, each and every one. You are here when the words are birthed, and I thank you for reading and commenting and giving me the chance to practice an art I’m not always sure I possess.

I hope to meet you here for the next one.

Tell me about your year. Was it what you hoped it would be?