Tag Archives: word


Instead of resolutions, every year I pick a word for my intention. The last several years I’ve picked words that had to do with effort and trying, and while it’s good to achieve and work towards goals, I am feeling tired, so I thought I’d do a 180 and try something a little different.

violet-breasted roller

This year my word is delight. Usually by the end of November I have a sense of what I want my word for the next year to be, but I was utterly stuck. And then just a few days before the end of the year, I was walking home and a little Bewick’s wren fluttered down to the sidewalk in front of me. All the heaviness I’d been carrying just lifted and I felt utterly light – delighted. And then I realized, I could have this word be my intention for 2020.

For me, delight is about being present in the moment, available to whatever might arrive – like the little wren, who we don’t usually see. There is also the element of surprise, the unexpected – which shocks me out of my gloom. My senses expand, and suddenly everything that was gloomy and dark changes – in the blink of an eye. The trees that seemed so dark are now havens for the chickadees and bushtits and juncos. Okay, I will admit the low cloud cover still challenges me, but it doesn’t infuse its heaviness into everything else.

I recently learned that in Swedish, “bushtit” translates as “butt dork” which was yet another cause for delight.

Since I’ve picked the word, January has proven to be a challenge. The world feels horrible, with world leaders making choices that feel like they are driving us all off a cliff. Even in the midst of all of this, it’s the joy and connection to others that makes the fight worthwhile.

In the words of Mary Oliver, “keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

I invite you to share these small moments of delight as they arise throughout the year. Perhaps I will post some updates here.

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