Resolution Reset

Nature for the New Year

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It’s time, once again, to turn the page.

The New Year is a symbolic thing. It’s an ancient idea; a ritualized way to hit the reset button, to refresh the screen. I suggest a walk in the woods.

I have a path I follow on Stewart Mountain, a winding route that goes nowhere in particular. I seek its counsel often—but, truth be told, not often enough. It’s not very long and it offers no stupendous views or unusual flora or fauna (although once I saw a family of mountain lions there). For the most part, it’s a nondescript dirt track through third-growth woods.

But it almost always quiets the jangling in my head, turning down the volume on the roiling pastiche of deadlines, obligations and current events. The constant search for solutions. A gnawing anxiety is slowly replaced by a sense of contentment and gratitude. It amazes me how easily and quickly this shift occurs sometimes.

Perhaps it’s the solitude. The ego is constrained by a lack of competition. Perhaps it’s the familiarity. In a world where the sheer velocity of change can be overwhelming, the reliability of fir and fern, rippling creek and mossy rock can be reassuring.

Surely the silence—or rather the subtle soundtrack of birdsong and wind in the trees—plays a major role. It can be hard to find your own song when constantly surrounded by the clamor of machines.
So here’s a New Year resolution for you: Unplug yourself as often as you can. Go for a walk and leave the damn phone at home. Sit under a tree in the rain.

Work up a sweat. Get your feet wet. Watch the clouds for an hour.
Long ago I was given some very valuable advice: If you find yourself with a problem that is 90 percent out of your control, focus on the 10 percent that isn’t. You may not be able to change the world, but you can actually change yourself, at least a little. Maybe find yourself to be part of something bigger than your day-to-day gyrations.

And, sure, we all have a responsibility to contribute, to be a part of the solution. Unplugging will make you a better citizen: more compassionate, more attentive, more fun.  More aware, more in the moment.

I’ve heard it said that it’s impossible to make oneself happy. Perhaps the way it works is that we make other people happy and they in turn make us happy. Call it cosmic reciprocity. The implications of this are obvious and suggest a laying down of the burden of self-aggrandizement.

It’s good to travel light.

Btown Valentines
More Outdoors...
Take Flight
Winter is for the birds

In the dreary winter months in the Pacific Northwest, the urge to take flight to warmer climes can be overwhelming. But if your wings are clipped until spring, don’t despair. January is ripe with opportunities to observe the majestic birds that spend the season here, and you can live…

more »
Island Inspiration
Savoring the sounds of silence

The relentless struggle to keep pace with early 21st century America had depleted my spirits and knocked my usually stalwart inner-navigation system so far off course I was recently forced to spend three days of semi-solitude in a one-room cabin just to right my ship and get sailing again. …

more »
Samish Runs
Welcome to the club

Larry Lober isn’t really the type of guy to make New Year’s resolutions. The longtime member and current president of the Greater Bellingham Running Club says he’s more likely to simply pick a course that works for him, and then stay on it.

“It’s like running a marathon,” he says. “You…

more »
Lifestyle Talks

1:00pm|Ferndale Library

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Poetry Writing Group

5:30pm|Village Books

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

European Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Books and Bites

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Post-Holiday Detox

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Art Auction Gala

5:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Anacortes Women's March

6:00pm|Depot Arts Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Sierra Club Winter Member Party

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Opera Scenes

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Tropical Heat Wave Dance


Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Five for Fighting

8:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 FiveFor
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Smoking Crow Opening

9:00am|Smoking Crow

Mason Bee Management

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Nordic Ski Ambassadors

10:00am|SnoPark at Salmon Ridge

Plant Society Field Trip

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

March on Bellingham

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Of marching and mending


Travel to Cuzco and Machu PIcchu

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Mysticism in Art

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Mona Openings

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Cedar Weaving Workshop

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Teddy Bear Biographies

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Exploring Port

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Learn to Grow a Vegetable Garden

2:00pm|Sumas Library

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

3:00pm|Everson Library

Kindgom Quest

4:00pm|Village Books

Music and Memories

5:00pm|Swinomish Casino & Lodge

Robert Burns Supper

5:30pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Ensemble Electra

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

The Good Lovelies

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 FiveFor