Our Novel Group is changing

30 12 2011

Yesterday, The Novel Group met for our regular weekly meeting and were forced to say goodbye to one of our group members. Alex Dueben is moving to Brooklyn and thought that the end of the year would be a perfect time for closure with TNG.

It’s a difficult transition because we have been a solid, steady core for more than a year. Week to week, we have tracked our characters, joked about their interactions, and shared a small piece of each other’s lives.  Alex’s presence added a balance, professionalism, and, well, snarkiness, that was greatly appreciated. His absence will leave a gap, particularly in those talents.

Despite it all, we wish Alex the best!

Beth and Cherry’s new hiking adventure!

30 12 2011

Having finished hiking the 57-mile Mattabesett Trail, we decide to tackle the trails at Cockaponset State Forest. At more than 16,000 acres, it is the second largest state forest, located in both Middlesex and New Haven counties. Check out the new Cockaponset blog!

Fifteen days

7 12 2011
Photo Credit: Gloria Augeri

Looking at the calendar, I realize that the solstice will be here in just over two weeks. Then, the days will start getting longer again! Maybe it’s been the balmy weather (except for Storm Albert) or my personal busy-ness, but it doesn’t seem that it’s been hard to adjust to the darkness this year.

I expect there will be more snow (in fact, some is predicted in the higher elevations for tonight) and I am certain we will have frosty nights again. For now, I am grateful it’s been a gentle November and December thus far. And I look forward to the not-so-distant day when the minutes of daylight begin to accumulate and we inch toward the time when taking an after-work walk does not include carrying a flashlight.

How do others feel? Has the darkness been difficult or not?


Can Nature Help Us Heal?

2 12 2011

The other night, I was having dinner with several friends who spontaneously spoke about the healing value of nature. The first person talked about how she “listens to the quiet.” Just sits in the same spot and observes and listens to what is around her and how this provides her with a sense of peace and connection.
The second person said that nature was the only place that gave her a sense of power and strength after the loss of her husband and son. She would walk for hours in the woods and find solace and felt the return of her self. “It was only outside that I could find that.”
“When I’m inside, my container of troubles fills the house,” said the third friend who held out her arms in front of her, fingertips touching, to form a big circle. “But when I go outside, the world is big enough to hold them all.” She went on to say that, outdoors, she would realize how small her troubles were in the scheme of the whole universe.
Three unsolicited ideas about the importance of nature to our health. What are your experiences? Do you agree?