The First Day of the New Year

I am waiting in Dublin Airport to travel to Marrakesh for New Year’s.

A splendid idea fortified by Charlie Easterfield.

Yesterday I returned to Ireland from Canada and Christmas and the family and the North American blues. Less than 23 hours later I push myself towards  something completely different.

New Year’s Day January 1st,  2016

I could cry with delight.

The day began with a start. Once recovered we entered this New Year alert. This moment finds me on the top terrace in the Medina with amazing smells of curries and floral wafting up the steep steps to a tiny terrace where nine of us sit, being served.

I love it. Adore the weather and the fashion.  I should have been born here wearing scarves and floating dresses, longs earrings and diamond eye make-up.

Our hotel is a jewel. It’s a rich labyrinth, decorated with ornate hand painted tiles, geometric bands of colour and low, long couches.

We drink mint tea poured perfectly from a distance. It bubbles and addresses us. We bought hashish by chance and feel suddenly brazen, perhaps even more adventurous than dared hoped or dreamed.

At the end of the pot the mint tea is bitter and I am feeling most satisfied. Today the body isn’t as jet lagged as yesterday as when I flew into the future. This is good. My Canadian French is serves me for the necessary conduct of good manners  and of ordering more mint tea.

Such an ancient place this Marrakesh. I am compelled to think of my Guardian in the red fez.

Later She and I spoke of the coming year, the desires for better health and what that means to us, what better health looks like.

Below our hotel room  is a fountain still moving as the city quiets. No howling cats so far. Not like last night. The first sleep in Marrakesh the cats howled and fought outside our window. It was a strange welcoming. I was mixed up in deep sleep and sudden wakefulness. The kind where you don’t know where you are and truly I did not know what was what, when I heard the screaming , growling, baby’s cry, a woman’s pleading. It was cats but not cats. It was my mind begging not to know, myself afraid of surrender, my knees throbbing, my sleep not restful but undoing.

A day of listening. The first day of the year 2016.

Listening at the core. Carefully allowing any moment of truth to surface.

Then  a dragonfly came, it moved past me, slowly in the heat, with the grace of flowing veil.  Reminding me of a moment in North America when I dreamed of flying dragons and the way my ten year old nephew looked at the shop clerk in a crystal store  and asked if she really met her dragon, “For real like?”

The unbelievable believed.

The unknown turning into familiar.

The right path.

Dust beneath our feet. And a sky so blue it would blind you.


Thanks for clinking in .

Always, eileen


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Eileen O'Toole


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