OPINION

CONNECTING THE DOTS
12-31-2023 

Frosty Wooldridge
The Spirit of God Dances with All of US in 2024  
 

As we watch 2023 vanish in the rear view mirrors of our lives, it's time for renewal, rejuvenation and letting go.  We rekindle our lives with a fresh start.  We rejuvenate our spirit with anticipation for better things to come our way.  We let go of anger, anxiety and duress.

Essentially, we celebrate a new beginning physically, spiritually and mentally.  We participate in life on its grand pergola. 

Robert Shaw said, "I celebrate the day that races wild across the boundless commonwealth of space.  I celebrate the day that leaps the wind and hugs the sound of laughter to its heart. That flings aside the qualms of yesterday and leaves no taste of ashes in its wake.  I celebrate you, and I celebrate me. Together, we celebrate the day.  We celebrate life."

There's no question that America, Canada, Europe and Australia, well, in fact, all Western countries face difficult if not horrendous challenges in 2024.  We've got Israel facing extinction at the hands of Islam.  We've got Ukrainians facing horrific cruelty of war from Hitler-esque Vladimir Putin.  We're facing Catastrophic Climate Destabilization along with a dozen other environmental challenges.  We're facing an invasion of millions at our southern border being brought to us by our own president.  We're facing a total vacuum and loss of leadership in the White House.  You could name another dozen consequences descending onto America.  It's like the craziness only accelerates year after year.

It's hard to keep your head straight and your emotions balanced.  This past Sunday, my preacher talked about the craziness pervading America today with social media destroying communities and interpersonal relationships, cell phones making everyone lonely as they text 100 times a day, Islamic demonstrations calling for the extermination of the Jews around the world.  And, you hear Americans condemning America as an empire that has enslaved indigenous and black people.

It makes you wonder if 2024 will be much worse than 2023.  It makes you wonder if "good" will prevail or "evil" will take over.  It makes you wonder if our Alzheimer's-afflicted president will survive or will the United States survive.

The Spirit of God Dances with All of US in 2024

Whatever happens, it's up to you to take care of yourself.  As my preacher said, "The Spirit of God dances within you."

While it may be nuts in the big cities and certainly in the Halls of Congress, you may choose a path of love, joy, family, friends, exercise, good food and healthy living.

You can dance with God by taking a walk through the woods.  Such a "dance" will reacquaint you with Nature. Walking with God will provide you with a sense of balance, joy and present-living.  Present-moment living calms your mind, your spirit and your being.

John Muir said, "Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature's darlings.  Climb the mountains and get their good feelings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while your cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

You may choose "joy" over "anguish."  Muir said, "Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains and woods is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks  are useful not only as waterfalls and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life."

You may choose bird-watching, wildlife gazing, sitting by a lake with a fishing rod in your hand.  Muir said, "How many hearts with warm red blood in them are beating under cover of the woods, and how many teeth and eyes are shining!  A multitude of animal people, intimately related to us, but of whose lives we know almost nothing, are as busy about their own affairs as we are about ours."

In 2024, you may choose new pathways, new books, new understandings.  You may cultivate "enthusiasm."  In Latin, it means En Theo, or "Moving with God."  So, when you show your enthusiasm, you are moving with God, The Great Spirit, The Creator or whatever your interpretation of a deity.

Try to keep your body, mind and spirit balanced in 2024.  Whether it's a walk down a tree-shrouded path or a swim in a lap-lane at a pool or a simple bicycle ride along a country road!  During this winter, you may choose a pair of XC skis or Alpine Skis to savor the mountain ramparts.  Dozens of athletic pursuits await you from pickleball to badminton to croquet.  If canasta, Chess or Bridge turn you on, then pursue those pathways. It's your life; use it, play it, enjoy it.

And when the winter is gone, Robert Service said, "The summer no sweeter was ever, the sunshiny woods all a-thrill, the grayling a-leap in the river, the Big Horn asleep on the hill; 

"It's that big broad land way up yonder; it's the forests where silence has lease; it's the beauty that fills me with wonder; it's the stillness that fills me with peace.  

"It's the strong life that never knows harness; it's the wilds where the caribou call; It's the freshness, the freedom , the farness---Oh God! how I'm stuck on it all."

In 2024, while the world may become more difficult, you may choose your dance with the divine within you.  You may treat your family with love and tenderness. You may show a stranger kindness. You may compliment a cashier's ear-rings, necklace or smile in his or her thankless job. You might rescue an animal with money or actions. You might pick up trash along a road to make the world a more beautiful place.  Whatever way you choose to serve life, your family and this planet---give your heart, mind and body to the task. 

May 2024 bring the world closer to peace across all of humanity.  May we respect and treat our planet as we would like to be treated: with care.  May we show our families and communities our very best in citizenship. May we uplift America to a higher level of integrity, health, and happiness.  Vaya con Dios!  Happy New Year 2024 from Sandi and Frosty Wooldridge 

A person kissing a statue of a person

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(Sandi and Frosty kissing, Mountain Man Thunder Jack, Route 287, Walsil, Montana.)

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