Boy does it ever feel good to say that.
I sat up last night to see the year which shall not be named out and welcome in the new year. Somewhere along the line yesterday I saw someone mention that we should all go out at midnight and shout Jumanji. I’ll be honest here, I’ve not watched any of those movies. However, with their explanation of that was how you got out of the game, I thought one more get out of this madness step wouldn’t hurt. I tend to believe that my neighbors think I’m a bit crazy anyway. With one shout, my reputation of being a somewhat odd recluse is still fully intact.
I am hoping though that my girls have forgiven me. In all the anticipation of the approaching new year, their supper time came and went. When the fireworks started not long after dark, they wanted inside which I granted. They then comfortably waited, and waited, and waited. Around ten they started wanting outside, then inside, then back outside. What? Why? Then on one pass to the door, Bella glanced at her food dish on her way out. THAT explained it. They were hungry and I was a bad pet parent. What a way to end their year. Once fed and bellies full they were more than content to stretch out on the floor and await the new year with me.
Now here we are..in a new-new-new-new year.
I awoke this morning around the time I normally do now. Neither dog was making noises of needing outside so I pulled the cover up and drifted back into dreamland to what sounded like rain falling outside. An hour later I again awoke and decided this time I best get up and get this day started. When I let Bella and Molly outside (my yard is fenced, they’re safe out there) I noticed it was indeed raining. One of those slow, easy rains that soak into the ground. One of those rains that you enjoy sitting outside on the porch and listen to as it falls. In honesty, I do prefer sunny days most of the time. Today, I am watching the new year, wash away the remnants of the year which shall not be named. Let this year, be a new start, a new attitude, a new beginning.
With the ending of the year, we have turned that last page and closed the book. Kinda. There are still a lot of things left to deal with, trials and troubles to face and solve. It is impossible to close the book, place it on a shelf and walk away thinking, that’s done. We all know as much as we would like to do such a thing, we can’t. A great deal of the mess that was last year, is bleeding over into this. But if last year did nothing else good, it has turned us into warriors. We may be battle weary, but we are still battle ready. My hope is that this first day of the new year will bring us renewed strength physically, emotionally, and mentally. With those, also a new strength of purpose and hope.
The year that shall not be named, was a year that won’t be forgotten quickly. We look to the new year as a baby just starting out into the world. If we continue with that image, this year past, was by all appearances a demon in disguise. With every bend in the road, new disasters waited. Some tried to instill a bit of humor as a way to relieve some of the stress, playing a game of disaster bingo. As some laugh to relieve nervousness, we joked to get beyond the stress, frustrations and fear.
At the moment, I’m sitting here, thoughts and words bleeding onto the page considering what was and what may be. What grand adventure are we preparing to take as we advance into the new year beginning? What attitude will we take with us? Dorothy in her need to get back to Kansas happily began her journey along the yellow brick road. While I’m not expecting singing and dancing, but will we take that first step with an assurance that in the end, we will find what we seek?
The year that shall not be named, blindsided most of us. Many of us found ourselves unprepared for what hit us and what was to come after. The struggles then and now very real. Many still struggle, each day a new fight to provide and survive. We argue over everything and anything. We battle with each other constantly, too busy tossing accusations and insults to try and find answers and resolutions. We each and all, need to go to a corner and sit down for a while. We need to take deep breaths and calm down. We need, to stop acting like children and be the adults we supposedly are.
At midnight, a new year began. Before us is a blank page, let us write a new story. Before us, is a new map, unwrinkled, unmarked, let us pick a new road. Before us, that canvass and paints ready, let us create that new masterpiece. Together.
Outside my yard is a mess. I left all the leaves that fell where they landed. In places those leaves are ankle deep or more. In the Spring, I will begin the clean up, mulching, raking, dragging them away. Returning my yard to a neater, more usable, welcoming, condition. That is the old year, it has left its mess behind. Our lives are covered with this or that variety of problems brought into play by the happenings of the year. They are not something that cannot be cleaned up and cleared away. With time, with help, with determination.
As a Christian, I look to the old year as on old life. It was filled with disasters, problems, storms and struggles. The darkness totally void of any light, the fears thick, the valleys deep and difficult. When I accepted Christ, a new life began. It is not an easy journey, it is not meant to be without concerns. It is however one that I know I do not walk alone. He is always with me. No matter what happens, what I face, what storms approach, He is my guide, my shelter, my hope and peace. He was and is my every new beginning.