January can sound quiet compared to the holiday cheer that preceded it. Festive music no longer plays. The shrieks of surprise from opening gifts have stopped. And the whirl of the mixer and hiss of the stove has quieted as baking begins to slow. Even outside, nature sounds silent: crickets, birds, or rustling leaves aren’t heard as often these days.

What does your January soundscape include? How does it make you feel? Perhaps relieved that the hurry and stress of the holiday season has ended. Or maybe a little sad, affected by post-holiday blues. I don’t know whether to feel jealous or relieved that we don’t celebrate gift-giving on Three Kings Day like many Latin American countries, extending the festive season until January 6.

Speaking of other cultures, the quietness of January gives us a great opportunity to explore sounds around the world. You may remember that we listened to 100 sounds from Japan and Swiss alphorns in previous blogs. Today, we have a new soundscape to add to our playlist. These sounds travel to us from 4,500 miles away, on the beautiful shores of Senegal! Can you identify any of these sounds? Do let me know of your guesses! 

Here’s to hoping you get to do many things you love this year! More than wishes, perhaps you’re making plans. I know I’m trying to plan for Paratus and do my best to remember the start and keep a close eye on what I’ve been carrying. We’re grown ready, equipped with what it takes, and yet it’s easy to lose sight of where we’re standing now, this moment, as the future’s purpose pushes through. 

One thing I’ve learned about myself this past year is that I really enjoy letting my imagination wander around the world. Well, the best part is actually having time to learn from and with others about being and feeling ready. Yes that’s the best part. But dreaming and creating resources like the Be Ready Explorers is a close second. 

Thank you for being here. And please, if you have an idea, something you want for yourself, the children you care for, or others you support, let me know. The world is wide and there is often a heart waiting for something just right. 

I wish you a very Happy New Year! 

Kristin Signature

“Let me keep company always with those who say ‘Look!’ and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.”

Mary Oliver