I have called this guy “The Druid” forever. He sits in a meadow in a state park within walking distance from my house. A few years ago, I found out he was supposed to be Mongolian, and once I read that, I could see it in his face. Still, to me he is a creature of the woods, and therefore a Druid.

Occasionally, I will walk down and look at him, trying to grasp a bit of that silent peace in which he resides.

Today, the winter solstice, would be a perfect day for such a visit, were it not for the rain and the wind keeping me indoors. It’s a dark day, the shortest day of the year, but starting tomorrow there will be steadily, though imperceptibly, more light.

The worst of the winter is yet to come; the harsh cold of January, the depression of February, and the never-ending damp, gray onslaught of March.  I will be home, not working and not talking to much of anyone throughout the day this winter.  I am really hoping to use that time to actually write. Last year, my main goal was to enter writing contests. I never got to a single entry because the personal, professional, and political hits to my health and psyche just kept coming. I really want 2019 to be different.

Rightly or wrongly, I took the fallout from this summer’s layoff as a signal that it was time to change my path. I had a decent career for 20 years, but most of it was not something I got into with intention. It’s time to change that. This is my actual intention, to learn the business of writing and get myself out there, and hopefully, as an added benefit, take some more steps toward building a new life.

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