there is a crispness to this new year, to any new year, that like a newly laundered bedsheet, pulled tight around the corner of the bed, invites us in, to fling our tired selves upon its smoothed-out softness, to refresh, shake off the cobwebs, give it yet another try.
the new year, the dawn of january’s oneness, is clean, unscratched. like those new white p.f. flyers you got when you were six, the ones in which you tried to only tiptoe for a good few minutes, see how long you could make it before you left a smudge of dirt, a scrape upon the rubber bottoms. until you forgot, started running. dove in hard and muddy, those once new shoes.
and so it is with the turning of the calendar, the clicking up of yet another year, a shiny digit added to the nameplate that sits upon the desk in the department of the year.
in my geometry, it’s yet another spiral–not a circle to which we’re forever confined. we round the bend, see how sights have shifted, what’s there we’ve never seen before.
i’m not so much for resolutions, would rather merely keep up the climb. take one moment’s tender triumphs, another moment’s sorrows, the joys, the disappointments, call them, “oh, well…life.”
i am wholly and fully awake to the truth that every year brings unexpected twists, brings heartache of sometimes immeasurable proportion. and so i’m braced. always half holding my breath, i do admit.
for this one unscuffed morning, though, i might stoke my january self with the delight of scribbling one short list, a list worthy of concentrated effort at one point or another as the year unfolds.
and so, in the spirit of that freshly laundered, unwrinkled bedsheet, i’ll hope to encounter these few holy triumphs:
i’d not mind more gatherings at my table, dinners long and animated, breakfasts that somehow spread all the way till darkness steals away the shadows. till we look up and realize we’ve spent the whole long day shifting from the table to the kitchen to the couch and back again to the table.
i look forward to the moments when someone launches into announcement with the preamble, “good news!” words that always spark my ever-eager heart.
i’ll delight, perhaps, in spying on a nest of baby birds, and absorbing all there is to learn from the mama bird who flies in worms, who withstands of the heartache of the one wee thing who falls from that nest, doesn’t make it. for i know the arithmetic of nests and it is sobering.
i’ll await the sound of rain pit-a-patting on my windows.
and the holiness of candles, wherever they burn. church or table, in particular.
i’ll hope for a long walk in the woods. hearing the crunch of leaves beneath my soles, feeling the expansion of my lungs and the pounding of my heart, besides. dodging in and out of dappled forest light.
i will savor the days when all the boys i love are falling asleep in the same darkened house. when i needn’t worry because one of us is far away, too too far away.
i can’t wait to hear the tales of my ella-bella-beautiful, the little little girl growing up too far away. i hope i’m by her side when she turns one, when a cupcake and single candle is more than plenty for those chubby little hands and the bright and shining eyes.
i look forward to one fat red tomato, one whose juice runs down my chin. and is sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh-cracked tellicherry pepper.
i hope and pray this year brings me the chance to sit outside just after dawn, listening to morning song and wind blowing through the branches.
i await the end of day some day when my shoulders ache from digging all day long, from hauling rocks, cutting limbs, learning once again that the best tools i own are the ones i was born with.
i look forward to a great read, wherever i stumble upon it. and along with that i hold my breath hoping for the moments, holy ones indeed, when i am listening to the plaintalk of an ordinary someone and out pours poetry and once again i am stunned at the power of the human mind and its capacity for story and storytelling.
i count on this year to bring me long walks with the boys i love, the tall one with the big big ideas, the little one who every time takes my hand in winter to keep me from falling on the ice, his tenderness and caretaking always just beneath the surface of his 8-year-old busy busy self.
i’ll leave it there–for now…and make a wish for all of us to find blessing in the days ahead, and strength to stride the potholes. happy blessed new year, indeed.
carry on, friends. what would be the moments you await and hope for?