I go through life being a bit of an Anxious Mystic. Anxious--because I know I can be wrong, but a mystic none-the-less. Specifically, I tend towards a bit of Animism: the belief that animals, birds, rocks, trees and nature speaks to our mundane lives.
So it is fitting that I saw a Stellar Jay on the last walk of the year. They are significant to Joni and me--as it was a Stellar Jay (or Steller's Jay--but I prefer to rename the bird) that gave us our name.
On our first date.
I was living close to Moab, Utah--and had asked Joni to accompany me on a hike. We chose to go to a red rock canyon called: "the Devil's Kitchen". As we sat and enjoyed our talk and the canyon, I told Joni about how much I missed the Stellar Jays that used to visit my home in both Truckee, California and Reno, Nevada.
Stellar Jays are not desert birds; they prefer woods and mountains. You don't see them in the high desert.
As we ended our hike, a Stellar Jay was on our path. Having Animistic tendencies, I changed my name to Stellar; Joni and I married by the end of that year.
I saw the fore-mentioned Stellar Jay while hiking the Long Loop with my backpack on. A good year ending hike. A good decade ending hike.
I spent the morning re-reading some of this year's posts. I like them. January's posts are fun (although maybe a bit stilted). My favorite post is probably about the Medallion I found last July. We were in the midst of protecting Joni's Guardianship of the girls and it looked like all was lost. The Court's report had recommended that the girls be returned to their Father in Colorado. We disagreed, but didn't have much hope that the Judge wouldn't terminate the Guardianship.
And then I found the Medallion. Gave it to Joni. Here's to mysticism!
At the last minute, the girls' Father self-destructed (we figured his character wouldn't change--and hadn't changed) and the Guardianship was maintained.