I didn't post much about last year's OLW (you can see the post here where I introduced it, and if you follow the links in that introduction, you can see the other OLWs I have chosen since 2009 and find more about the whole concept of choosing One Little Word), but in a way, everything this year was about shalom. That word "flourishing," cited in the definition, kept coming up again and again in my life, in what I heard and read. I saw examples of shalom, and felt its absence. In the latter part of the year, our church began an in-depth study of the book of Genesis, and I learned a great deal about the literary aspects of the creation narrative, and how it compared to the creation narratives of surrounding Middle-Eastern cultures. I began to think even more about shalom, and the picture of it in the garden, when all was as God had intended it to be. Instead of separation and fear and suspicion, there was connection and rightness, shalom. There was shalom between people and God, between people and nature, between the genders. We seek that now, wishing and longing for the way things ought to be.
The OLW I have chosen for 2014 is, then, continuing the theme from 2013. But this year I was inspired by Irene Latham's choice for 2013. Instead of picking an abstract concept, Irene, a true poet, chose the word "sky." I loved watching her play with and enjoy her word all year long.
So this year, my OLW is garden. I want to think about that original garden Paradise Lost, about the garden in myth and metaphor, and about flowers. Quite honestly, I want to play, too, to take off my shoes and feel the grass between my toes.
Here's to 2014! I can't wait to see what's ahead!
3 hours ago