Anyone else feel like a beach? Not going to the beach- although that does sound great. Like an actual beach. Like sand at the edge of the ocean that is getting beaten by wave after wave and is somehow getting used to it. I think that globally, nationally, locally and personally there have been more things stuffed into one year than one year can hold. Maybe that 2 or 5 years can hold. Remember when it felt like WW3 was about to start with, who was that, Iran maybe? Or when Australia was on fire and pictures of people stuffing koalas into their cars was the hardest part of your day? How about our President getting impeached, Kobe Bryant's death, the Royals quitting royalty; Yeah that was all this year. The political unrest we are currently drowning in, BLM and racism, poverty struggles, kids in and out of school, it's all so so much. We have so many problems people can't even agree on which problems are actual problems so we fight about that too. This is the backdrop of our lives. Covid, is the backdrop to the backdrop. Somehow I didn't even mention it yet. That's how it feels now, so interwoven into the fabric of our normality that it seems redundant to point it out. Amid a host of personal changes, some sad, some hard, some exciting and some daunting, the sky is on fire. Ashes, Ashes. Something else that after weeks of raining ash we are getting accustomed to. Smelling like a perpetual camp site, catching ash in our eyes, feeling it disintegrate as the sting spreads. The physical toll of bad air in an orange sky that used to be clean and blue. The constant overcast in the sunshine state. All in all it feels like a proving ground. I think while it is important to note the hard things through which we pass it is more important to focus on the truth that we do, in fact, pass through. We, as the phoenix, do rise from the Ash. We stand back up reborn equal to new challenges, to the next chapters. If we can manage to do it while holding the hand of our neighbors we are all the better for it. We can be happy, we can organize our minds and focus our attentions, claim our gratitudes, pronounce our optimisms, cling to love and hope and productivity and compassion. We can button down in our corners and quarantines and find ways to make our place in the world a kind and a beautiful one. We can say hello through our masks and help through our hurts. We can be better and stronger and kinder. After this year we are all survivors of something. Hang in there friends.