Jan 1, 2013 12:07 a.m.

First snow, after sunrise Dec. 30, 2012

2012 bid adieu with a blizzard and glistening sunrise

Happy New Year! Call me dull, but I have been enjoying a quiet night at home by the fire listening to Dead Can Dance and Enigma CASSETTES! Can we say retro?

Well, I’m not that dull: I began celebrations earlier in the evening by catching up with friends over champagne, pâté and olives. Tomorrow I’ll continue to ring in the New Year with more friends at an open house.

It was actually quite pleasant to avoid the cold, crowds and having-to-be-somewhere-at-a-certain-time and stay home making fudge and my famous artichoke dip, while listening to a selection of dulcimer and harp Christmas songs, interspersed with Gregorian chants and new age-y music (ok, maybe I am that dull)

I have to admit that I nearly missed the stoke of New Year’s Eve Midnight while I was busily writing and editing shots from the blizzard a couple of days ago. It wasn’t until I heard fireworks going off in the neighborhood that I realized the time.

It struck me how optimistic we all are to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Particularly now, when so many of us are experiencing hardship, worry and grief. But “it’s always something” in life isn’t it? My parents still acknowledged New Year’s Eve during World War II and Korea. My generation counted many New Year’s Eves through Vietnam, and today’s generation has seen many New Year’s Eves come and go in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lord knows, the next generation will note the passage of time during their war too.

This afternoon, a guest on NPR owns a nightclub in Damascas, Syria, and he said he is planning a New Year’s Eve party. For six hours many Damascans, and others across that suffering country, will be putting it all behind them to find an excuse for some joy.  Just going out to celebrate is risky, but he says many people refuse to stay hunkered down because they desperately need this temporary release. The owner will be tweeting throughout his club’s party, which should be cool.

And how are the parents and families in Newtown, Connecticut doing tonight?

And then there’s that dang fiscal cliff….Through it all, we forge ahead. What a story life is. As demonic as the human race can be, we are a marvel. How do we keep on keeping on? And why?

In 2013 guess I’ll keep trying to find that elusive great job and continue to travel distances when I can and take day trips when I can’t, and enjoy the rich bounty around me of nature, fresh foods, art, good books. Photographing as much of it as I can.

My photos of the recent New England blizzard give me pause to appreciate nature’s awesome beauty. I woke up to a world of absolute stillness, with cold fresh air that filled my lungs. A universe where everything was bright white and glistened in the sun. I’m glad many of the photos captured this magic. It was like stepping through a wardrobe into a fairytale. I am so grateful for the beauty of that morning.

These photos are my touchstones to help me retain the serenity of those moments. They continue to calm my hunger for inner peace and balance whenever I look at them. I hope they do the same for you in this first hour of the New Year and every hour to follow.

I’m happy to share these copyrighted photos with you in the photo gallery page of this blog.

Welcome 2013. Peace and goodwill to all.

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce