A cold has given me permission to lie back and read for the last couple of weeks, which might otherwise have been filled with more holiday activities. Over the last few days, it's been Barry Lopez's deeply thoughtful Horizon alternating with Arthur Ransome's gloriously escapist Peter Duck. As we head into the fraught new year, we all have to decide how much of the world's weight we can bear individually, what we can do to make life better for life on earth, and how to refresh our spirits in order to be able to carry on. Funny how the same old advice is the basic wisdom we need: We can't all be worldwide witnesses like Lopez, but we can each choose a few issues that matter to us and try to make a difference locally. And we can recognize the necessity to nourish our spirits by occasional dips into whatever sends our imaginations soaring. Gird up, everybody. Think global, act local, read well, and Happy New Year!