Anticipation Of The Year Ahead“We must go ahead and see for ourselves” – Jacques Cousteau

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As yet another year draws to a close it is hard not to anticipate the year ahead. For me, the year ahead comes with deep, dark apprehension as we bring in a leader whose policies on everything I stand for frighten me. Our planet, our rights, our tolerance and acceptance of others, and our relationships with powers in the world. The election was a very dark day for me. I have tried desperately to understand but it is impossible. Instead, I will focus my efforts as I always have in the past: Continuing to use my voice to advocate for the voiceless and stand up for my beliefs. I refuse to be silenced.

I will continue to live in the moment and practice gratitude for every blessing I have: My family, my health, my freedom, my ability to follow my dreams and my quest to make a difference in the world even if it is small. Everything counts – perhaps more than ever before.

As we move into full blown winter, I end my post with some of my favorite captures of nature at its best. These were all taken last week as winter finally arrived full force into Minnesota. I don’t recall ever seeing such a surreal sight. We had a huge snowfall and then suddenly the temperature dropped to a mind numbing -24 F wind chill. The lake had not yet frozen over so in the morning steam was rising from the open water into the sunlight.

I layered up in two pairs of long underwear, two face masks, wool socks and hat and went on a run around my favorite urban lake. I admit that the first five minutes were bone chilling cold yet as I rounded the corner and saw this unearthly view it was worth it. All the darkness lifted and an enormous smile of gratitude crossed my frozen face. There is so much beauty in the world if only we can see it, breathe it, feel it and embrace it.

Lake Harriet, Minnesota

“Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun.” – Ruth Westheimer

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis Minnesota

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN

“The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations”. – Anais Nin

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Chinese proverb

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN

Over the next couple of weeks, I look forward to seeing my family over the holidays and welcoming in the new year with an exciting adventure. I’m off to Costa Rica to a new adventure. Stay tuned…

~Lukas Rowlands

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