Friday, 6 January 2012
The earth has tilted back towards light, there are snowdrops in the churchyard and the indoor jungle that is my porch bursts into abundant life.
Blackbirds are fighting in the garden about food and potential nesting sites and, presumably, sex. The place is full of birdsong in the mild air. Even in the darkness of evening there is a robin proclaiming his rights.
It feels like a fresh start, this year more than any other I can remember.
I do not do New Year Resolutions, knowing perfectly well that in my own case they don't last until Epiphany. This year there are things I will not do, which include not clambering unaided and unsupervised on the pergola and the shed roof, not treating myself to a chain-saw, not even a small lady-sized one, and (hopefully) not trapping myself in the attic in an otherwise empty house.
Additionally, I will try not to work until I'm dotty with exhaustion, not to watch day-time television, and not to eat anything made of wheat.
There are reasons for this.
In a wonderful coming-together of events coinciding with a new year, all of us, both sons, both their partners and even I have new jobs. Mine is modest but important to me, theirs are exciting and important to other people.
We don't read horoscopes. My older son tells me it's bad luck to do so, but if we had done we would probably have seen the stars lining up in auspicious patterns in the last few weeks. I hope all other Capricorns have had a similarly cheerful start to the year.
Fresh starts are invigorating.
In the depths of the old year I had a rather frightening health scare. It pulled me up very short indeed and made me take stock of many aspects of my life. It made me sort out the paperwork and tidy my knicker drawer.
It makes me appreciate who is really important to me, and to make sure I tell them so - one way or other. It's not easy, in a very English way, to tell people that you love them, so sometimes the approach in oblique and laced with humour - but I think they know.
It makes me appreciate more than ever my home and garden, and the peace and freedom that are there as well as the hard work that both take to maintain. The balance of peace and work is important and the danger is in overdoing the work so that it's hard to appreciate the peace. I must do better, but that is a vague sort of ambition and not a Resolution.
I value the ability to think and work from silence, and this becomes more powerful with time. What, in the early stages of widowhood, could seem like emptiness, now feels full of potential. I never know what I'm going to think or write next!
It makes me appreciate those who read here, and who are kind enough to leave a comments.
So, somewhat belated Happy New Year to you all.