One of my favorite books is Annie Dillard’s memoir “An American Childhood.” In it, Dillard captures the exuberance and wonderment of a child on the brink of self-discovery in 1950’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Over the years, I have returned often to one passage in which Dillard masterfully describes a child who for the first time becomes aware of the difference “between seeing and knowing you see, between being and knowing you be.” Dillard refers to this transition into self-awareness as “the gift at the moment of opening it.”

Crossing the threshold into wakefulness of one’s self is the opening of the gift of one’s potential. From that moment forward, we become consciously aware not only that we exist in the world, but also filled with expectation and wonder of what we can be.

As the new decade begins, we all find ourselves at various moments of transition. We have before us the “gift” of a New Year, essentially unopened and unexamined in these first few early days of January but exploding with potential and expectation as we “open” each day.

Here’s to peace and prosperity in 2020, and much happiness with the many gifts the New Year brings.