It’s here! Whether you loved or hated 2012, we have now embarked on the new adventures that the year 2013 will bring. I love the new year. It’s like being presented with a clean slate. Troubles from the previous year are still around, but the promise of something new is intriguing. It makes me want to put in the extra effort needed to make change.

Of course, I’m very fortunate to live in Elora. I just have to walk out my door to be inspired by the beauty that surrounds me. The Elora Gorge has always been my playground. I know that I’m spoiled to have it so close to home. For many, seeing nature means a long drive from urban centre to the country-side. For me, natural Christmas card views are right outside my window, with snow covered streets and trees. The Chickadees that live in the blue spruce outside my door are peeping away happily. The landscape is gorgeous.Winter Ice Irvine River Elora Gorge

I plan to include a walk in the Elora Gorge Park as part of my New Year’s celebration. There are so many views waiting to be photographed, and there is plenty of fresh air to breath in. Communing with nature is a fantastic way to gain strength. The scenes are delightful. The air is invigorating. It gives one a sense of balance and harmony that we just can’t get in our artificial world of work and activities.

Winter View Elora Gorge Downstream From Lovers LeapNo matter what you have planned for the new year, remember to focus on what is important to you and to your family. We make resolutions for 2013, certain that we will keep them, then realize in March that we seem to be falling behind in our efforts. Breaking resolutions can give us a terrible sense of personal failure that we really don’t deserve.

For 2013 to be the successful year that we are expecting, we have to stop and take the time to prepare for it. Success takes planning and organization, it doesn’t just happen on a whim. I plan to do a lot of thinking while on my walk. I’ll focus on what is truly important to me. I’ll ask myself some important questions. Am I spending much time doing things that I enjoy? How will I follow my passion? For that matter, what is my passion? The whole year is waiting for me to turn it into something that is fabulous and important to me. It’s time to make some memories.

I’m very thankful for having the Elora Gorge, and all of the natural beauty that goes with it, so easily accessible to me. I don’t get out in the real world as often as I would like. Trudging off to work seems to rule my life on many days, whether I mean to allow it to, or not. Today, I will make the most of my time. I’ll bundle up in warm clothes to be comfortable, pack my camera and head out. The first day of 2013 is waiting for me.