After breakfast we packed up our gear, put on our day packs and headed off to the labyrinth. As we walked in quiet around the stone maze, we were asked to think. Think about anything we wanted - perhaps about the year we've shared together.
Once we all met in the middle, we put something from the earth in our hands. We then put our thoughts into the objects and one by one we shared those thoughts as we placed our items on the shiny stump. A stump shiny from years of being touched.
My thoughts were of the path itself. As I walked I noticed all the tiny components that made up the path. Stones, dirt, pinecones, pine needles, pebbles, weeds, flowers. Some were expected, like the pebbles. Some were surprises, like a piece of bone and orange paint. But all these tiny bits added up. They all carried us on the journey and lead us where we needed to be. There were big moments, fantastic patterns in the bark and bold rocks. While they were part of the adventure, it was the little stuff underfoot, the taken for granted grains of living that got us there. And when I stopped long enough, I found beauty. Even in the seemingly dull brown dirt, there were sparkles.
As I think back on this grand year, the big moments definitely fill my lungs. But what I find I treasure the most are the smaller breaths. Things like holding a child's hand that isn't mine down the hallway, laughing with new friends on the playground, having a crowded lap during books and breakfast, watching handshakes every morning, learning brown is the "little circles" in my name, and (my most favorite) the big smile I see each afternoon as Pax comes out the door at the end of the day. Those are the sparkles. Those are the surprises. That is what I will remember the most. I hope that is what my little guy remembers too.