Happy New Year World (2010)photo © 2010 Leland Francisco | more info (via: Wylio)Another year ending, another beginning.

Like most years, I’m home tonight, quietly waiting for that mystical moment when the clock strikes 12 and another ride around the sun begins. Sometimes, I wish I did something celebratory, but truthfully, I can’t think of a place I’d rather be than here, listening to music, reflecting on what’s gone on and anticipating what’s ahead.

And like most years (okay, all years), 2010 had good and bad. It ended with a profound loss in my family when my grandpa, the only one I’ve ever known, passed on just a few days before Christmas. I think it was part of the reason I could feel that cloud of nearly tangible darkness around the Advent season, and why Christmas felt a lot like turning on the lights after a really long night.

But there was plenty of good too. I made some truly meaningful friendships that I know will carry into 2011 and beyond. I finally found a church that feels like home. I saw some of the best concerts of my life and found music that stirred me deep down and put words to some of my most elusive feelings.* Sporadic as it was, I even did more writing here in 2010 than I have for the whole history of this little blog. (funny, since I consider myself in a state of writer’s block right now. boo.)

More than anything — and I never say this lightly — I think 2010 was a year that God did some serious work on my heart, in ways that would take a whole series of essays to explain. I learned more about doubt, faith, hope, and love than I have in a great while. I still have a way to go, but I guess the word that could sum up the end of this year best is peace. Ultimately, I feel at peace.

That’s a good place.

Oh, I’m rambling, as usual. :) I’m truly looking forward to 2011. I won’t make resolutions, because that never works. New Year’s Hopes are more like it. Here’s to another year of beginnings!

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for the better part of the night, partly for it’s singable melody that feels like celebrating a new beginning, partly for the hope and sadness in the words.

“Eat and drink for tomorrow we die
We will look our Maker in the eye
Raise a flagon and drink to your health
Who is he that can conquer himself?

We are wandering where the wild wind blows
We are happy here ’cause the wild wind knows
What we are
Orphans, kingdoms…” ~ Brooke Fraser

* I really did want to write a bit about my favorite books, music, and concerts of the year, but never quite got there. So look for that in the first week or so of 2010. Should be fun to reflect on that.

And PS: I started a photo blog this year! Photo a day experiment over at tumblr. This could either be an amazing experiment or a colossal failure, but you’re welcome to follow along at 365:twenty-eleven