I visited Ilan-Lael on New Year’s Day. No small feat getting there as about 100,000 of my fellow San Diegans also flocked to the mountains to take in a glorious sunny and snow-filled day. Fortunately, I lost most of them at the turn for Orchard Lane and made my way through minor snow drifts to the Hubbells. Jim and Anne were there, relishing the brightened landscape as much as I. Me worrying about them as they walked about on the snow and ice. Them not thinking twice as they nimbly moved between the warm, festively decorated private quarters that make up their home. Anne and I wish one another a great, happy New Year and catch up on what the holidays have gifted us. She did some site seeing in San Diego with relatives from up north. They went to San Diego’s Mission de Alcala and she was surprised to see so much of Jim’s work there. He did many art installations over the years, including stained glass in the private quarters of the clergy, wooden sculptures in the activity center where Hubbell grandchildren now perform with their dance troupe. There are the clay sculptures of the saints that adorn the alcoves at the mission gates. And then there’s the statue of the Virgin. The first one was damaged by a vandal. The folks at the mission returned it to Jim and asked for a replacement. Somehow the broken pieces ended up resting on the ridge behind the Boys’ House. Too lovely for the scrap heap, the Virgin sits quietly among the snows of winter, the wildflowers of spring, and the golden straw of the dry months, surprising those who venture off the regular path and stumble upon her. Her head looks to the north, her face shielded from the bright winter sun. Even in pieces, she seems content. A metaphor for life perhaps…that if you live long enough, brokenness is part of the journey and not a reason to despair. We simply need a world that values the pieces as well as the perfect. Perhaps that will be my New Year’s resolution in 2015.