I delight in finding clever gifts. And for Christmas this year, I found one for my avid-hiker and good-humored brother: a t-shirt with a stick-figure picture of a man in the woods with a tent and the words, ‘Good In Tent’. Ha, Ha — get it?! Aside from being clever and funny, the message of that shirt kept lingering about my heart and mind for days. What a ‘sticky’ phrase: Good Intent.
Then this morning, on New Years Day, my Facebook news feed included a link to a post entitled One Word. It was written by a woman who had chosen the word “Rise” as her one-word daily intention for 2015 (www.oneword.com). I was inspired. What would be my one word for this brand-new year? After a moment of quiet, I knew. My word is ‘POSSIBLE.’ I fell in love with the idea of keeping this word in my heart and letting it greet me each day. My daily intention: to open myself to what is POSSIBLE. Yet something within me bristled with anything that smacked of a Resolution — something that is destined to fail after a few well-meaning days.
Smack-dab in the middle of this consideration — a full-circle moment. I could see in my mind’s eye that stick-figure man on my brother’s t-shirt and those sticky words: Good Intent.
Word-lover that I am, I decided to look up the definition of the word, intention, and found all of the expected phrases like ‘aim or purpose’ and ‘a determination to act in a certain way.’ But as I scrolled down the page a bit, I found what I had been seeking:
“In knowing, the mind is said to “intend” or “tend toward” its object.”
A new sticky, yet grace-laden phrase: Tending Toward. Leaning In. Feeding, nurturing and watering. Some days perhaps more than others. My gardening experience has taught me the forgiving nature of most plants. If you miss a day of water, or forget to fertilize, more often than not, the beautiful flower still emerges.
Tending toward. I like that gentle phrase; so free of the rigidity baggage that comes with a Resolution.
This new year, like the stick-figure man on my brother’s new t-shirt, may you discover the Good Intent in your life; perfectly imperfectly tending toward it; leaning in to your own possibilities.
That’s my kind of camping!