The one thing I see ahead, for certain, in the coming year is- more personal growth. Most of the travels I undertook in 2012 were either left over plans from 2011, or set around key events, like the Centenary of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to North America and my already planned trip back to my hometown for Thanksgiving and my 62nd birthday.
This year starts on a blank slate, in that there is no unfinished business. I do have tentative travel plans, which I will mention below, but being of service- to my Faith, to the Red Cross and in the American Legion’s “Americanism Essay” program will be my main priorities, along with substitute teaching when I am called.
There is a book on the Covenant (agreement) between Baha’ullah and His followers (Including me), which I am studying along with 2-3 other Baha’is. We will likely meet every Tuesday, except for the two weeks I’ll mention below, until the end of May. That is Priority # 1.
The year overall looks like this, and it can always change on a dime.
January- Post-holiday clean-up of the legion hall and a prayer breakfast are scheduled for next weekend. The following weekend, our Baha’i hiking group will go-somewhere nearby. A Navajo culture event at the Phippen Museum will find me in attendance at the end of the month. In between, a jaunt down to Tucson is possible and a Red Cross service weekend in the Colorado River Valley is likely during the MLK Day weekend.
February- A special musical artist will visit us on the 9-10. President’s Day weekend will likely find me in the Las Vegas area’s Red Rock State Park and/or Valley of Fire. The end of the month (26th- March 1) is what we Baha’is observe as Ayyam-i-Ha (Intercalary Days), and is a gift-giving period. It falls during the week, but we still gather on at least one night to celebrate.
March- I hope to have a DVD of photos from Penny’s life done by the 5th, to mark the second anniversary of her passing. The 2nd-20th of this month is the Baha’i Fasting period, and those of us between the ages of 15-70, who are in good health, observe the Fast from sunrise to sunset during this 19-day period. I work and carry on a modicum of normal activity during this time, but don’t travel or hike much, if at all. From the 22nd-25th, I will likely visit some friends in southern California, and my son if he’s still there.
April- From March 29- April 7, I will visit friends and Mother Nature in Oklahoma and Texas, by way of Albuquerque.
May- If she wants me to, I will go out to Philadelphia, where my youngest niece is graduating college, from May 10-13. Otherwise, the month is a Home Sweet Home time.
June- Colorado beckons, from the 1st to the 9th. This time, I want to hike in Eldorado State Park, Boulder and up Mt. Sopris, near Glenwood Springs, as well as visiting my family in the Denver area and paying my respects at Sand Creek, near La Junta.
(I will also have to plan for June & July, 2014- La Belle France, Belgium, London, Amsterdam, northern Germany, Copenhagen and five East European cities are on my radar.)
July-My son will turn 25, so the time around his birthday on the 7th will remain open. Otherwise, three hikes, weather-permitting, in the San Francisco Peaks will highlight the second half of the month.
August & September- If all goes well, my long jaunt for the year will start on the 9th, with an overnight camp-out near Bluff, Utah. From there, Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Devils Tower, Harney Peak, Crazy Horse Monument, Pipestone, MN, northern Wisconsin, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec-Ville, Atlantic Canada, Mount Desert Island, ME a family reunion in Massachusetts over Labor Day weekend, NYC, Gettysburg and a possible DC visit with my siblings (which could also happen in mid-May), Louisville, St. Louis and Kansas City will occupy me until around October 6.
October- After the 6th, I will be around Prescott and back to business.
November- This year, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. I will not make any plans, except to be the best 63-year-old the Good Lord could want.
December- Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference will probably be the 20th-23rd. Otherwise, I have no plans.
So that’s how my friend Janus has me set for the year ahead. As always, Penny will be around me and I will move one step at a time, with love in my heart.