Bits and pieces of life

By Micki Cottle - Guest Columnist

The light from the January sun is so brilliantly prancing through the windowpane that if I ignore the calendar, I could well pretend it was spring. This New Year in what seems like an elaborate choreographed dance of time has brought us almost stumbling to this moment, this hour, this 2018.

I need to move on to consider this new day, but there is no hurry. There will be chances aplenty. God willing. So, for now the dazzling music of the song, is itself, reward enough.

How fortunate we’ve been to embrace another year of good health, good friends, and yes, sadness. All the bits and pieces of life, that make or break us. This old year has bent and shaped our lives in every direction.

January, like its namesake, Janus, faces two directions. Hesitant to move forward, it is a lingering month that offers us slices of time to gently pause on our past hours as we slowly thumb through the chapters of life. For a second it seems our new pages will be empty.

Some years we celebrated each New Year, wildly, in the wonderful carelessness of youthful madness; we threw our dice in the wind, we danced through our days. Then other years slipped by so quietly they were hardly noticed. A few tore at our hearts as they marked the beginning of an ending. So many losses, so many lives that would forever leave their imprint on our hearts; ah, then there were the births, the new breaths. Sadness and joy, endings and beginnings. Both sides of the coin.

Sometimes there were those days that seemed so perfect and seamless, golden days that you’ll treasure always, remember? Others were so troubling, bringing such confusion, that at times you wondered if you would ever walk again through gentle evening mists, humming your old songs.

A quote by King George, “I said to the man at the gate of the year, pray give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown.”

And the man replied, “Put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than any light, safer than any known way.”

In the reality of 2017, we saw the kindnesses of many souls who defied the ugly scars of humanity and tried to heal them. Then there were others who played with evil like a spinning top, and left us frightened, vulnerable.

Both changed the world, changed each of us for better or worst, and both left heavy marks on our lives.

Gentle ghosts travel always at our sides. Memories either harsh or kind will whisper to us daily reminding us of the year that was. And now it is done. Now we have entered a new door, a new time, a new beginning.

There will still be times when the air is kissed with a rain-blessed dawn and the streets shimmer wetly in the beginning darkness of a cold winter evening; times that will make us pause and seriously consider this silent, brooding old year. We will find our eyes heavy with tears, recalling the sweetness of old voices, lost friends: the warmth of kindnesses that blessed our days, and all those moments shared in laughter. We listened to the music of our hearts and laughed and cried and loved as bravely, as well as we could.

The poet Whitman reminds us:

“Nothing is really lost, or can be lost

No birth, identity, form, no object of this world

Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing

The embers left from earlier fires, shall duly flame again.”

So welcome then 2018 I hail your arrival with all the hope and revelry I have left in my soul.

Your arrogance overwhelms me. Your ignorance makes me afraid.

But, I know, I know it’s your turn.

Be kind.

By Micki Cottle

Guest Columnist