He joked, and we all laughed and said his skills as an inspirational speaker were powerful with his talk of Groundhog Day and a new year that feels like a death sentence.

“So how’s 2013 going to be?” he mocked.

“Well, just the same as 2012 and 2011 and 2009, actually. Thanks for asking,” he said.

Just that morning and the night before, too, I’d read, and twice the word trust bent its knees and leapt high off the page, hitting me hard between eyes. Like I’d prayed it would because I wanted that one word for the year — the one to guide and provide a reference point for where I’ve traveled and where I’m headed. And then it found me.

I wrote it in chalk on the star made of slate or some write-on-able rock, given to us by our dear friend as an early Christmas gift.


The one that hangs over the butcher block counter where we serve food.

The one that said,

Live thanks at Thanksgiving,

Love throughout December, just as J said it should,

and now reminds me


I’m mulling over trust and how it’s like hope and faith, and not. How it’s like a leaning and a free fall and a sitting tight and a holding out hands and a remembering what’s true.

How it’s an openness to a day unfolding and a being ok with me right here and a giving thanks for where I am this moment.

Yesterday, Lala and I made some late morning coffee. We scooped the beans, one, two, three, and then I pushed the button to grind, and she pointed out the window at the basket, holding clumps of greenery left over from dead mums and said, “Mama, look, the leaves are dancing with the grinding.”

I pressed the button, and the bean fragments rattled again, and sure enough the leaves twittered and shook to the rhythm.

“Salsa,” she said.

“What honey?” I asked.

“They’re doing the salsa.”

She was so right. Those leaves were most certainly dancing the salsa.

So we ground the beans again.

Three, four, cha cha, cha — she swaying little hips atop her step stool, and me holding palms open, shoulders rolling back and forth.

I thought how trust is largely about remembering, but also learning a new way to see. Choosing to see what’s new.

It’s believing this year is not a 365-day version of Groundhog Day because, at its simplest, each day is new.

One waiting for us to see fresh.

Because really, when have I ever noticed that leaves dance the salsa?

Three, four, cha, cha, cha.


Joining up today with the free writing community at Heather King‘s Just Write and the One Word 365 project, in which people choose one word to help focus their year.


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