ticking toward the new

the sky has sprung a leak here in my corner of the globe this morn. thunder clouds are clapping, rumbling. lightning interrupts the percussive roar with its cymbal crash and sparks.

what had been winter white is now a dreary soggy shade of gray. the branches of the trees drip fat-walled tears. it’s a sad scene out there, like cheeks of little children (or their mamas) after a good long cry.

but perhaps it’s the world’s way of washing out the old, making way for new.

for new is, if you wish hard enough, what the night will bring. the page of the calendar turns, the 12 turns into 1. a new beginning. another chance. fresh start.

an incubator full of hopes and dreams, they’ll hatch if we are blessed, if we do our share. don’t sit back and wait for magic.

that’s not how new happens. that’s only how it is in fairy tales and science fiction.

we make new when we dig down deep, resolve to do it different. be gentle, not harsh. listen, not close the door. go out, not curl up inside.

as the whole globe gathers up the messiness of the year that’s left behind, we get–at least on paper–a chance to try again.

isn’t that the miracle behind the spiraling of time? we come around again to a place we’ve never been? we muster what it takes to climb again? to look more closely this time? to take solid steps? to sit and smell the pine, as we move higher on the mountain?

those are questions, all of them, because we’ve not yet mastered the art of climbing, the simple art of one foot in front of the other.

and so, the benevolence that is yet-another-chance is that we’ve built these constructs that lay before us the illusion, the hope, that this time ‘round we might come closer to getting it right.

that’s what fills our lungs in these hours toward the countdown. we tingle with the possibility that this stint, this shift, might be the one where we put aside the things that hold us back, and reach out and grab the ones that we’ve been promising to ourselves.

i know that i’ve a list. and promises i intend to keep.

i come to this rain-soaked morning on the last day of the year with a prayer card filled for those all around me. i look out into the new year and wonder what will come. i cannot take away the pains that might arrive but i can whisper incantations, beg for words and light and hope, to soften all the blows, to be the wind under wings that falter, start to free-fall from the sky.

here as we tick towards the new i count the ones who’ve suffered, are suffering. i count friends who’ve lost a soulmate, i count the brave soul across the street, the one who lies in hospice. i count the mother of a child who might not get well, and another who won’t (one mother, two children, too much to take, by any measure).

i count a dear dear friend far away who doesn’t cease to struggle.

i love them, each and every one. and their struggles weigh down my heart. i pray for hope in the new year. i pray for light.

i pray that once again we might try to get it right–as we carry on the climb to that holy mountaintop.

what do you hope and pray for as we tick toward the new year?