There’s a lemon verbena tree cocooned between brick walls in the courtyard of the Hunt Club. Last month, it extended its branches to carry the regrets of numerous people who anonymously wrote the things they wish they had of said on red ribbons. I thought it would be easy to let go, to translate ink into the unsaid words that have curdled with years but every ribbon felt like I was hanging my guts. But as other people hung their words and the ribbons increased, so did my courage. “I picked on you coz I was afraid to see me.” “I didn’t know how to love you back then.” “I’m sorry I swallowed your words with mine,” and other regrets decorated the branches of a tree that Uruguayans consider to be one of healing. Now, weeks later, the words that have haunted us with their silence have faded under the sun. So has the year. 2011 was anxious. The year my nerves jittered and strained under the weight of my sister’s wedding gown. The year I travelled the seas, found my writing a home at the Hunt Club, completed a draft of my second YA novel, battled my thoughts and learned how to still them. The year when death gave birth to love.

2011 was the year of change.

I’ve learnt to accept and not resist it. After all, change and love are the only constants.

Here’s to a lighter 2012 with less turbulence, good health, happiness and success. Happy new year!