IT IS THE WAY of the world that things end and things begin. Sunset is followed by sunrise and vice versa. An old tree falls in the woods and young ones reach for new light. A year passes and a new one begins.
For many folks the old year, 2023, cannot pass soon enough. It was a hard year—a terrible year—for so very many. For this little girl, my granddaughter, it was simply her 4th year, filled with life and love and learning. A week ago she was in Minnesota, out for a walk with Grandad, disappointed with the lack of snow but laughing with delight as a few unexpected flakes came floating down. Now from back in Florida we receive this picture of a stop at the neighborhood water park, 60 degrees but not too cold to wrest free from her daddy and dash into the spray, sans swimsuit, becoming happily drenched in the process. It is a picture that contains volumes. Life, we are reminded, is lived out in countless individual ways, and with open eyes and hearts can be an adventure.
At home a quieter day begins with Dad and Koda the Forest Kitten sharing morning coffee-and-cream. Koda, as usual, taking his without the coffee. Every morning he is exasperated by how slowly Dad retrieves the magical container from the refrigerator. And, glacially and incrementally, begins to pour. Thus a new day begins—with a familiar ritual and with the promise of outdoor adventures.
And thus time passes, night giving way to morning, an old year giving way to the new. It would be good if we could all occasionally see with the eyes of a 4-year-old, or a forest kitten. And sense that within darkness there dwells the promise of light. Within loss there is birth. Within difficulties and even tragedy there is the possibility of happiness. And even adventure. The adventure of a free-spirit dash through a water park. Of a falling snowflake. Of a teaspoon of cream and a stroll out of doors. And… the beginning of a New Year.