Wednesday, 31 December 2008
The last morning of the old year.
A duvet of vaporous air is hiding the light. Its thick whiteness rolls down the hills and suffocates my garden, where the crunchy glitter of the frost rises to greet it.
It muffles sound. I am alone on a freezing, shifting white island.
The dog refuses to go out.
Obscurity: dingy, dull, dark and dim, says the Oxford Dictionary. I'm not happy with that. No year should end like that, nor new one begin.
Indefinite, remote from observation, unnoticed, humble, unexplained, it continues. Ah, that's more like it! I want my new year to be unexplained, and I imagine you do, too? Who would really wish to know what their future holds?
What would be the point of stepping out into an utter conviction of your own rightness; your right to happiness and prosperity and good health and all the other things we wish one another when we fall into the fountains in Trafalgar Square as Big Ben tolls the turning year (well, some of us do, anyway)? Where is the challenge in that? What an insufferable bore you would be by the end of 2009, and how your former friends would dread your company.
Equally, who could bear to step out into a year that they knew for certain held death and despair? Many of us will face this, but we do not do not know it yet, and so may hold on to hope; and that hope will temper despair with other, more positive emotions and make it bearable.
This is how a year should turn, from ending to beginning - obscure and unexplained, with promise and with hope.
Above that swirling duvet, the sun is shining. Underneath the sparkle of frost, the little verbena is quietly biding its time.
Happy and Obscure New Year to you all.