“White shells,/I still can hear the ocean sounds/I used to hear when childhood/was small and sweet/I still can hear, within the depths/of every sleeping shell,/the vast sea-roar!” ~ Javier Heraud (Peru)
I was in early elementary school the first time I picked up a conch shell and listened to the ocean. The shell was on a shelf in my parents’ bedroom, but I don’t know where it came from. We had never been to the ocean. I still remember listening to the whoosh of air through the chambers of the shell and imagining what it must be like to see waves coming ashore.
It is magical to discover something grand (even if only imagined) in the smallest entity — like the roar of the sea in a seashell. Or, as William Blake put it, “a world in a grain of sand” or “heaven in a wild flower” or “infinity in the palm of your hand,” or “an eternity in an hour.”
Thus…my quirky New Year’s Resolutions:
1) Enjoy the star-studded night sky more often.
2) Embrace freedom.
3) Sit in a plaza in an ancient city — somewhere — again.
4) Take in a wild scene every now and then.
5) Listen to banjo music.
6) Reminisce and reinvent — remember that youthful moment of eating white grapes in Rome and do something entirely new in some new place.
7) Pay attention to the dew on the rose petals.
8) Take a walk through a pinewood for old time’s sake.
9) Remember to dodge the flying stones. Sometimes they come singing from new directions.
10) Buy something that sparkles.
11) Walk through showers of wisteria or cherry blossoms or jacaranda or anything that blooms then falls and flies in the wind.
12) Join a caravan of people celebrating carnivale or Saint Paddy’s or some new holiday…for a day or an evening or an hour.
13) Seek out an old lady in a big hat to befriend.
14) Don’t forget to sing and dance! And…
15) Learn the melody by heart.