By Sonia King, Mosaic Artist
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and hanging on.”  Havelock Ellis 

With mixed feelings, I take down the battered calendar for 2012 and hang the crisp new one. Even as I anticipate events penciled in for the future, I resist throwing the old pages in the trash.  The calendar is trivial, of course, but represents the daily challenge of holding and releasing.   

As we welcome 2013 and the changes it will bring, we face the continuous challenge of knowing what to hold dear and what to release to make space for the new.  Leading a multi-cultural life adds one more dimension to that balancing act.  One of the “arts” of the cross-cultural citizen is mosaic making…selecting which values and traditions to preserve and which new ones to incorporate into our lives.

My personal mosaic has several elements that come with the turning of the year (in addition to opening champagne and hanging the new calendar).  One comes from a friend of Cuban origin. On New Year’s Eve, she fills a bucket with water and throws it into the street.  All of the negative things that accumulated during the past twelve months are tossed out with the dirty water, allowing a fresh, clean start.  Another tradition comes from my Argentine family; at midnight, everyone gets up on a chair; at the strike of twelve they step off on the right foot.  I have replaced raucous noisemakers with these rituals about starting anew on a positive note.

Building mosaics will be one of the themes for our posts in the year ahead. I hope you will share your own experiences with “letting go and holding on.” 

In the meantime, here is my New Year’s Wish to each of you:

May you build a mosaic of vibrant colors and satisfying patterns that will bring you great happiness!

 © Copyright  2013 by Bethe Lee Moulton


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    The Author

    Bethe Lee Moulton brings a unique perspective to her writing, grounded in strong family roots and inspired by global experience.  Her career as an international strategist inspired her to write her award-winning novel, Until BrazilHer blog, The Cultures Within Café, is a place to share the challenges and joys and challenges of living in an ever-smaller world. Bethe divides her time between Boston, Buenos Aires, and Boca Raton, to be with her far-flung friends and family, spanning four generations, multiple cultures, and diverse worldviews.  



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