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A New Year

 The Grand Canyon
At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, can one’s heart truly hold the beauty of this world? 
This is a question I asked myself as I stood at the rim of the Grand Canyon this past Fall. Welling up with emotion, the magnitude and vast areas of beauty before me, this thought spoke vehemently to me. 
Colorado River
Viewing the landscape as we flew over it to get the Canyon’s edge, caused that emotion to well before we even arrived. How long have the years taken to carve this land into what it is today? How many people and civilizations have carved their imprint into this land to turn to dust entering into the land itself. Staggering, just staggering… so much that I felt like an inconsequential speck upon the landscape to come and go on this Earth having no effect. I thought back, into my days of youth where the only sense of time I had was bedtime, basing my days on that and its avoidance. How many play dates could I fit in before the end of the day? My how things have changed, where bedtime is welcomed and playdates seem to have become nonexistent! Time has not stood still but marches along. Day after day, mountain after mountain, people after people. Seeming to move even more quickly as one ages. 
Looking back on photos from last year, as I was searching for visuals for my intended post, I came across both these photos of the Grand Canyon taken in November and a photo from New Years eve as 2017 was dawning. These photos caused the path of my intended blog post to change direction from one that I was going to entitle The Twelve Days of Christmas, to the one I am writing now. The beauty of the images of the Canyon that reflected back at me taken a mere two short months ago, seemed to starkly oppose the photo of last New Years Eve 2017. Darkness overtook me, for in that photo standing next to me, was our 22 year old nephew who tragically passed away shortly before Christmas. On a day where I was setting up a beautiful and festive Christmas party in the barn for a close friend and client of ours. An environment full of light and festivity.  Both of these experiences stood a mere month apart… one of intense beauty and one of intense darkness. Darkness and light… the eternal opposition. The contradiction of life… moments of beauty and light… moments of dark and sorrow… and everything in between.
In experiencing and participating in the services for our nephew, we were struck with the unbelievable support and love shown to my brother and sister in law and their family. Support that was not asked for, just given freely and at a time when nothing else, except their faith could have kept this family standing. It continues to be given and continues to help them in their grieving and healing.
( I will write more about this experience in the future, when both his family and I are ready, for it needs to be spoken about.)
Where would we be without each other? Could these past civilizations who crossed those mountains against insurmountable obstacles and forged those rivers to create places where they survived and thrived done it alone? Hell no! In this world where dark moments, at times, seem to be overshadowing light, where fears for the future abound, and too much emphasis is put on what separates us as humans than on what connects us, words from a Pope Francis TED talk ( yes you heard me right) struck a chord on both of these fronts. He was invited to speak at a conference entitled The Future You, and here is a snippet of what he had to say.
” Each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness.”
If you want to check out more of his words of wisdom, you can click on this link. A huge thank you goes out to Christine Cavalieri for sharing this link on her public Facebook Group, WorkWhileLife, where you can promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate! Check  both of them out!
Some circumstances in life cannot be changed, we cannot bring loved ones back to this Earth to be with us. We cannot cure certain diseases and illnesses… someday but not yet. Sometimes it feels as if our actions are futile. Almost akin to when one tries to dispense their wisdom of their years on their teenager or young adult… almost akin to that.  But what can we do in this new year to counter what we cannot change?  
We can be the light even when a brisk draft is trying to blow that light out. We can be there for others, supporting them, when needed, in silence of your presence or in your words or actions. There is SO much beauty in this world, let us not get so stuck in what seems to be today’s ego centric agenda and fill in the moments of life where we can CHOOSE beauty in the everyday. In our interactions, our relationships, how we speak to people. In our celebrations of milestones. In our neglect of concentrating on the petty and superficial and going for the deeper meaning. 
Again, like the beginning of this post where I am at risk for sounding cheesy and cliche and of going over the edge with my “thinks too deeply” blog posts. I, a mother of 5 who roll their eyes at my advice, who has no credentials for life coaching, just a barn full of old things that she loves, a hopeless romantic, a need to shop in brick and mortar stores otherwise I would only ever get to know my UPS or Amazon driver or hear the honk of his horn as he drops a package, a paper calendar/ planner user… am handing out advice in this new year.
We need each other, we need personal interaction and connection. We need to slow down in this crazy spinning world. We need to make someone’s day. We need to pat each other on the back more. We need to talk, talk and then talk some more. We  need to be the light… in this New Year.

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  1. Gerry Jaffe’ says:

    I LOVE reading your blogs. There is always something I learn and take away from them. Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing all that is you. You are really something else! Xo Gerry Jaffe’

  2. Kiki ade says:

    TU for sharing my condolences for all tha sadness
    Ditto on talking & so important to let one know they count we all do
    Enjoy reading your blogs Thx

  3. Meg Collins says:

    I cried tears of emotions that I needed to feel when I read your words.. so true and so sweet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I suffered a great loss as well in 2017… my beloved husband.But that loss won’t keep me from living life.. although difficult at times. Life is beautiful if we seek beauty! Thanks for you thoughts and inspiration Meg.

  4. Maryann Veno says:

    Meg that was absolutely incredible. We are blessed by having amazing friends and wonderful family like you in our lives. Love you!

  5. Ruth morganto says:

    Hi Meg! Last year was one filled with losses for so many close to me. If you get a chance, find the book, “It’s OK that you’re not OK” by Megan Devine. It is a different approach to the grieving process. I highly recommend it. Hope to see you soon,

  6. Patti says:

    Meg, thank you for the reminder of how much beauty surrounds us always and to take the time to make every minute count recognizing it’s blessing never to be taken for granted

  7. Pam Lyons says:

    Inspirational words from a mother who has “no credentials for life coaching”. ???? Mother = credentials, expert in life coaching. Best wishes in 2018, Meg.

  8. D says:

    Everyone should read this and live by your many wise words. The best to you and your family in 2018 !

  9. Maureen says:

    Meg…always so enlightening and always hitting close to home. You are such an inspiration on so many levels!! Love all the barn sales and my favorite finds from them. Shine the light girlfriend…shine the light. xoxo

  10. Becky AnthoNy says:

    Love your post!!! One can never be reminded enough about all that is good and beautiful in this world, especially when all too often we are overloaded with news of fearful, sad, or terrible events happening around us and our families each day. When we can truly trust and believe that God created each of us in His love and with a unique purpose, it is easy to see how our lives naturally must all be interwoven to create a beautiful masterpiece…humanity.

  11. JoAnn Pepe says:

    Meg, Once again I’m inspired by your beautiful self. You are amazing and the clarity you bring to the difficult places is deep in its simplicity.
    I love you !!! ❤️????
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Meg Veno says:

      I love you too Aunt Joann! Thank you for your beautiful words and your support. Hope to see you guys soon!

  12. Kathy Cunningham says:

    I am so so very sorry for your loss Meg. Life is so precious and so fragile. My prayers are with you and your family.

    With heartfelt sympathy,

    Kathy Cunningham
    Moorestown NJ

    • Meg Veno says:

      Dear Kathy,
      Thank you so very much for your words of sympathy. Yes, life is so precious and fragile. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts Kathy!

  13. Pat veno says:

    As I sit here with tears streaming down my face ,I realize how blessed we are to have a family who are always here for us. Love you

    • Meg Veno says:

      Dear Babci,
      We are ALL so blessed to have each other, through the good and the bad. Love is the highest power that we have!!!
      Love you and Pop and hope that each day brings us closer to remembering AJ with laughter instead of tears.

  14. Lisa H says:

    Lovely post Meg. I hope 2018 is a time of healing for you and your family. My best to you all in 2018

    • Meg Veno says:

      Dear Lisa,
      Thank you for your comforting words! We too hope that time can heal and the power of each of us and our positive connections can help in that process.

  15. Helen roberts says:

    once again, you have put the tough stuff into beautiful, well articulated words. Love to u and all u love.


  16. Jen says:

    Wow . A beautiful & inspiring post & just what I needed this morning . I’m not even quite sure how I came upon your page / site , but your words make me feel as if I know you , and I look forward to getting out to one of your barn sales soon . Your posts have been an unexpected blessing !

    • Meg Veno says:

      Hi Jen! Thank you so much for both reading and responding! My intention is to connect more of us through our words and experiences. I am glad that my words connected with you. I would love to meet you in the near future!

  17. Mark Ferri says:


    My wife Patti introduced me to your thoughts shared here. She adores the brilliant kindness that is you, your wonderful spouse and family. These are words to adopt and live by. Thank you for sharing.

    • Meg Veno says:

      Dear Mark (and Patti),

      Wow! Your words mean so very much to me Mark. First off, I thank Patti for sharing my work for that is a great compliment. I write to share my experiences and hopefully to help someone in the midst of theirs, that might be difficult to navigate through. I thank you for taking your time to comment for it means a lot to hear that my words and actions are not for naught.
      I hope to meet you at some point Mark!
      All the best~