This past New Year's Eve crystalized for me the realization that I prefer outdoor activities to traditional parties as ways to celebrate or mark occasions. I reached this determination on a clam-digging trip with my mom and uncle.
Traditional parties generate mixed emotions for me. I enjoy seeing friends and family, but I also consider parties somewhat constraining. Almost without fail, I find myself seeking some alone time to break away from the social confines. In addition, I'm not convinced that parties always serve as the best ways to celebrate. Once, I even remarked how hikes seemed like better ways to mark upcoming weddings than bachelor parties.
|Roosevelt Beach celebrates the end |
of 2017 with a resplendent sunset.
On the drive home, the contrast between what I had seen at Roosevelt Beach and the events of a traditional New Year's Eve party played out vividly. We saw people lighting off fireworks, and I couldn't help but feel how those colorful explosions paled in comparison to the sights I witnessed on the beach earlier that evening. The camera in the back seat now held images and memories a party could never have equaled.
With no party on the schedule, I went to bed before midnight. However, that allowed me to rise early and upload my beach pictures to Flickr. After accomplishing that task (you can see the full album here), I looked outside at first light and saw my first bird of 2018, an Anna's hummingbird. I really could not think of a better way for me to end one year and start another. I had watched the sun set on 2017 in astonishing fashion and seen it rise in 2018 with a feisty, energetic bird. It was nature from end to start, precisely who I am and how I experience this world.
Above all, I comprehended fully that it's my party, and I'll take photographs at the beach and watch birds at first light if I want to.