The “2022 UCF New Year’s Day Hike and Ceremony for Banishing the Ills of 2021” was a great success.
We gathered at 1 PM in Fort Macon State Park, once Tom Wentworth was able to discriminate successfully between southeast and southwest. Fortunately, the other 12 participants were not similarly challenged when identifying points of the compass.
We began with a brief ceremony in which we placed blocks of ice (real or virtual) in a communal cauldron decorated with holly leaves and berries. The blocks of ice contained sheets of toilet paper on which were written words representing people, incidents, and entities that made our lives unpleasant during 2021. As the ice melted, these words mingled and began to disintegrate, and we put them behind us for better things in 2022. The ceremony was accompanied by appropriate prayers and other readings recited by Linda Rudd, Marty Newcomb, Sally Davis, Martha Naset, and Tom Wentworth.
Better things were indeed to come, as we then enjoyed a windy and salt-spray-hazy day hiking the beach and trails at Fort Macon State Park. Three hardy souls challenged stiff breezes on the beach, while the rest of us took to the somewhat-more-protected Elliott Coues Nature Trail. Seven participants completed the entire 3-mile loop to the fort and back to the beach access. We left no participants or other traces of our adventure behind.