Arbor Lee


Mindful Field Notes is an online journal of writing and photography by Arbor Lee | Oh My Darling Days. 

Mindful Field Notes Journal

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To a Year!

2017. What a year! It came in like a freight train and for most of the year I felt emotionally slammed. So much of what I value has been threatened, attacked, and violated by the change in political administration. Each racially charged and misogynistic threat, each unconscionable assault on human rights, each revocation of protections for the environment and our health reactivated my own trauma, igniting cycles of anxiety, fear and helplessness. I wondered if I would ever regain my sense of grounding and questioned the purpose of my work in a world so disconnected from the heart. 

Then, somewhere towards summer's end, I reclaimed my rhythm and reconnected with the importance of offering moments of refuge amidst the noise. 

Looking back, I see how this has been a year of clarifying where I stand in relationship to the spectrum of social and political issues. It has been a year of clarifying my creative purpose and fine-tuning the way my writing and art can be of service in these crazy times. More than ever, I feel empowered to speak up and stay involved in ways that align with my sensitive heart. I feel inspired to offer moments of stillness, beauty and light as sanctuary from the chaotic heaviness. I am comitted to the practice of harvesting the good while honoring the deep sorrow that comes with witnessing so much loss and disregard for all that I hold sacred. 

As this year comes to a close, I wish to offer gratitude for the learning, the growth and the challenges. And I offer a toast to a bit of the beauty and light that surfaced amidst the difficulties: 

To a year touched by the Strength of Magical Helpers. Owl and Fox, Raven and Snake. You invited me to listen and savor the stillness. You reminded me to honor grief and celebrate ancestral wisdom. You gave me a way to withness the world, a way to lean into the quiet and the everyday sacred. 

To a year of ongoing love and support. Celebrating eight years while meandering The Cape. Everyday celebrations of home and belonging. Everyday reminders to love and be loved. 

To a year in which creative dreams flourished. My first published book and another in the works. 

To a year of creative growth framed by seasonal rhythms. Weekly beauty forages and mindful explorations. 

To a year of writing the truest things. Writing the River and showing up to the page.  

To a year of courage to show up and shine. Learning new skills and refining my way. Reclaiming myself as an artist and teacher. A collection of work that I'm deeply proud of. 

To a year with Frida Mae and Zolito Diego. Their furry presence a bright light in my life. I didn't know my heart could expand this deep and wide.  

To the gift of another year older and wiser. To 48 years of growth and life. 

To 2017 and all that you offered. And, I’m grateful that you are over. 

Wishing my dear readers a smooth transition into 2018. May it be filled with more joys than challenges, more light than darkness, more reasons to celebrate than reasons to grieve. Cheers to a Happiest New Year!