When the Year Grows Old
And often when the brown leaves
Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
Made a melancholy sound,
She had a look about her
That I wish I could forget–
The look of a scared thing
Sitting in a net…
But the roaring of the fire,
And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
Were beautiful to her…
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
The year has grown old, died, and been reborn. It is ‘new’. There are beginnings. Yet I acutely feel the year growing old.
When the clock struck midnight December 31st, when the calendar ceased to count days for 2019…what happened?
It’s as if I’m waiting for some unknown force to press the ‘reset’ button.
As I work on my One Word for 2020, I realize I’m stuck. Not in my decision of which word to choose but in the way I feel caught at the end of last year. In a time when I listened to the wind whistling a melancholy tune and brittle leaves scraped the window panes, begging to be let inside.
When I had the look of a frightened bird flapping helplessly inside a net.
Yet there is a difference. The trap has weakened, loosened. I can breathe.
I find familiarity in the world around me and there is comfort and beauty in that. In the moments when I take that first sip of coffee, tie my hair up with an elastic band, lace my warm, winter boots. When I lose myself in sunlight creating intricate patterns on my floor or notice wind catching a hydrangea flower hidden since last spring.
Sometimes, when the stress is too much, when the weight is too heavy, when the ropes are too tight, our struggles increase the pain. Sometimes relaxing into the discomfort and fear is all we can do and, sometimes, that shifts our world enough to see the beauty.
Health and happiness to you, gentle readers. ❤