As the year begins, I think of a blank white journal page and the contrast of the black ink against it as I write. It’s difficult to picture a more eventful year than this one, with three high school graduations in the family and a cross-country move. The stark disparity between the Sonoran and Virginian landscapes is one of the most exciting parts of the change. Everything seems new in Arizona. I can imagine a long and busy retirement here. The courage it took to pull up roots and start in a new place seems to have extended to the rest of my life. I joined a writing group at my favorite library and will soon participate in a series of readers theater rehearsals for “You can’t take it with you.” That certainly rings true, since we had to leave quite a few boxes and pieces of furniture in the house we’re selling in Virginia. Occasionally, I venture into the garage to look through the stacks of boxes containing things we actually could take with us. I’m looking for a box of DVDs, but instead I find photographs and crafts, toys and books. Sometimes I think wistfully of the container of kitchen items we took off the moving van to make room for more art. The whole moving process began about two and a half years ago when we decided that Arizona is the place for us. Even the landscape reminds me of a blank piece of paper, the magic kind that comes to life when a brush dipped in water gives color to the page. One of my Virginia friends, seeing my photographs, said, “…lots of nothing as far as the eye can see.” It’s not that there is nothing out there, it’s just that we need to look at it differently. As the Little Prince said, “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” This desert and this new life hide so much, I hardly know where to begin looking.