Contrary to the date posted, it is still December 31st – not January 1st. After three months since I created this page, I write just my second blog (if you even call the first one a blog) on the last day of the year.
My last run of 2016 was on my favorite trail – Laurel Ridge Trail, which meanders on both sides of Buford Dam Rd. It is just enough of a challenge to pay attention to where the roots are, but also quiet and peaceful. It’s where I lift my most fervent prayers and hear that still small voice.
I was on the trail at the same time that my cousins and family in Pennsylvania celebrated the life of our cousin, Bill who died on Christmas day. 2016 has been a rough one for the Noel side of the family; we’ve lost three in the family just since August.
As I ran today I thought of the woman in this picture – Ferdeline Noel, our grandma. She was the glue that brought us together. She had four children, beginning with my dad, Al. He was the oldest; then followed Catherine, Joe, and Gary. We lived in Ohio and traveled often to Pennsylvania, where all the other families lived, to visit. Each visit we would spend time with all the other families; what fun times we had! Many memories and funny stories began at Grandma’s house. Recently the cousins have had several opportunities to be together and reminisce on our childhood – the conversations always end up with a memory that involved Grandma Noel. I love this picture of her. It captures her so well – the loving hands as she lifts her grandchild, her eyes watching another one who was probably rolling down the hill.
We close 2016 tonight and hopefully leave the sadness of the year behind us. On the trail I prayed for comfort and peace for Bill’s siblings, ,children, grandchildren, and cousins. I don’t know what 2017 will bring, but I trust that God does and that’s enough for me. This quote gave me peace this morning and carried me through today; may it resonate with me all year long:
“Not knowing the future frees me to pay attention to the present, and maybe that’s the best way to be ready for the future.”
Happy New Year – if anyone really reads this, I hope to be writing more in 2017.