Living Well

Inside the Blue Line*: Spiritual Reflections on Life in the Adirondack Park

A Prayer for the New Year

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi

I don’t know about you, but as I sit and reflect at the beginning of this year, this decade, I find myself soul-weary. While I believe it is important to know what is going on in the world around me – locally, nationally, internationally – I can barely listen to the news without sensing a growing despair. Where, my heart wonders, is reason, compassion, morality, kindness, forgiveness, patience, truth?

Of course, it is all around me – in the quiet beauty of winter in the mountains; in the gentle bubble of the stream flowing off the hill; in the kindness of strangers and friends alike.

A Prayer for the New YearBut I keep coming back to Rumi’s words about rightdoing and wrongdoing. So much of what I hear and experience in the larger world is about who is right and who is wrong. About judgment and punishment. About power and privilege. About winning and losing.

But what lies before and after all of this? Where is the intention and ability to look more deeply? To listen to the experience and suffering of another? To wonder what might be possible beyond the immediacy and expediency of quick judgment and power-over? What might be possible in this ever-more-fragile world of ours if we took the time to enter that field of potential?

I am holding Rumi’s words as my prayer for the new year. I look forward to meeting you in the field . . .


*The Blue Line is the term used in New York state for the boundaries of the Adirondack  (and Catskill) parks, within which can be found the state’s Forest Preserve. The state constitution requires that any property owned or acquired by the state in those parks “be forever kept as wild forest lands” and prohibits it from selling or transferring them in any way. It is so called because blue ink was used when they were first drawn on state maps.