Finding Joy in the New Year

Green Honeycreeper, male, Trinidad

In this fresh new year — try to find a spark of  joy in every day.


It could be a spot of bright nature;

Azure Kingfisher, Australia


or something new you’ve never seen before;


Male Kudu, Botswana, Chobe River


Conversely, joy could appear in something you see every day, but never stopped to appreciate.


Monarch Butterfly, Horicon Marsh, WI


Twelve-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly, California


We can find joy in remarkable human engineering feats;

Sydney Opera House, Australia


or inspiring people;


Gandhi Statue, The Ferry Building, San Francisco


Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

or art, so many forms of art.

Ancient Kangaroo Rock Art, Kakadu NP, Australia

Chihuly Sea Star, Seattle, WA


Some of the most cheerful joy comes in simple forms.

American Robin nest, Wisconsin

California Honeysuckle, lonicera


There will be times, however, in the new year when difficulty or despair take over.


Joy might not be readily accessible in the darkness.


Olympic Peninsula, Washington


For these times, go to sleep, rest…


Grey-headed Flying Foxes, Sydney, Australia


… and try again tomorrow.

Warmest thanks to my blogging friends and readers, for a year filled with joyful sweet moments, warm words, happy smiles, vicarious adventures, stunning images, and heartfelt sharing.  Gentle wishes for a new year filled with joy.

Written by Jet Eliot
All photos by Athena Alexander.


White-bellied Woodstar, Peru


Maui, Hawaii


Gandhi Greetings

Gandhi Statue, San Francisco

Gandhi Statue, San Francisco

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”  ~~Mahatma Gandhi


This humble brass sculpture by Zlatko Paunov stands behind the Ferry Building facing the San Francisco Bay.


Photo credit: Athena Alexander

Golden Gate GraveyardMy new mystery novel:

To purchase paperback or ebook, click here


Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

In the heart of San Francisco, centered in the Yerba Buena Gardens park, is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  Highlighted by a roaring waterfall, it is solid, yet always moving.


Built of Sierra granite, there is a terrace garden and walkway above the waterfall, and the rushing waterfall that empties into a 120,000 gallon reflecting pool.  It is the largest fountain on the west coast.  A unique path behind the waterfall features 12 etched glass panels of quotations by Dr. King.


MLK fountain, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

Entitled “Revelation,” the memorial was built in 1993.  It was a collaborative project by sculptor Houston Conwill, architect Joseph De Pace, and poet Estella Conwill Majozo.  More Memorial info here.


Etched glass panels with quotes

Jet reading quotes, waterfall above and behind

Born on this day in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. became the greatest African American human rights leader of all time.  More about Dr. King here.


1963 March on Washington. Courtesy Wikipedia.

He organized and led the 1963 March on Washington, and moved hundreds of thousands of people in one of the largest human rights political rallies of the time, calling for an end to racism.


Looking through the waterfall

Looking through the waterfall

The visitor proceeds under the waterfall, drawn in, and rewarded with privacy and reflection on the words of this fearless world leader.   There, underneath, all you hear is crashing water.  The city is drowned out, urban stimulation has vanished.  As we read each quote, his rhythmic words, deep voice, and brilliant oratory style come quickly to mind.


Dr. King, 1963 March on Washington

Dr. King, 1963 March on Washington

Dr. King shook the world.  He demanded equality.


This memorial reminds us there is still a long way to go, and we cannot forget, we cannot be mute.  But we can take time to pause and reflect, as we continue moving forward.


“No.  No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander unless noted otherwise