"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'…" – British poet Alfred Tennyson, 1809 – 1892
Shrouded in promise and mystery, the New Year struts ahead of you, as a flirt with a lilting stride, gleaming eyes and all. Not quite yet through, December has rounded the bend; yet, you are ready for the whole month to be over.
Dangling with a look of delight, January boldly grins. Winking right out in the open for all to see, she cranks open her frozen canopy of hope, taunting – this year will be better.
Even though your legs are tired, your muscles are cramping, your head is splitting and your heart won't stop aching, you break into a sprint and run ahead. Elbows bent, arms swinging, reaching hard, you chase tomorrow as though airborne.
Although, in all honesty, it's not January you're after. Not really. It's just that you have to make it through January to reach February and then – on to March.
Tapping your foot impatiently, you check off each day as it nears and then departs, counting down to when spring's return, like a proud and grand parade high-stepping it down Main Street: tubas and trombones blaring, snare and bass drums pounding, flutes and piccolos whistling, trumpets and clarinets tooting.
The month of March will storm in from the South, commanding the heavens to flash and rumble. Ah, and then April, when earth finally sweats off her frosty crust and newness bolsters upward, seeking life.
Past cheerless winter, once muted birdbaths splish-splash with friendly fowl, lighting to quench and cleanse. Beyond this year's end, you reminisce, summery moments, like a tender brief romance long ago, swelling in your bosom, unutterably calling, giving you courage to stare down the New Year with quiet resolve…
…Sweet aroma of gentle sultry breezes ushering through the screen door.
…Late evenings on the front porch watching time go by.
…Long moonlit walks down shadowy lanes.
…Dew kissed mornings with songbird choruses heralding daybreak.
…Lazy Sunday afternoons napping in the hammock.
…Bare skinned toes dangling at water's edge.
With springtime newly minted in your breast pocket and planting season, stalwart and trustworthy, at your side, you traverse onward, taking the lead from longer, brighter days ahead.
When warmth does retrace its path, you surely will embark, light-footed, your head held high, sleeves rolled up, following the sun as it stretches long life-giving rays far into the evening.
Your spirit hollers, "Be gone, old dried out yesteryear. Shoo! Fly away from here. And, take your tattered edges and scuffed heels with you!"
Peering out into a wintry mix, you whisper, "Hasten, new leaf." Growing louder, you coax, "Hurry, return fresh and supple vegetation." Now shouting with gladiatorial might, "Do not dally. Arrive today!"
Giggling and half-drunk on what could be, you toast and silently wish to do better and to be happier. See? You truly are a Genesis story, rebirthing, renewing while you embrace tomorrow.
Therefore, proceed, will you, please? With hope and prayer, you can and will out slug any demon that may beset you.
Yes, most definitely there is space for you – and plenty of it for all of your grand plans in the New Year. See there, a spot is reserved with your name on it, between the sanctuary entrance of your existence and the altar of your gloriously blessed future.
Among chanting cicadas and leaping frogs, the bells toll for you to carry on.
Stay the course.
Don't give up.
2012 © Copyright Paula Damon.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Bosco Damon is a national award-winning columnist. Her writing has won first-place in competitions of the National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women. In the 2009, 2010 and 2011 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contests, her columns have earned eight first-place awards. To contact Paula, email boscodamon.paula@gmail, follow her blog at firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on FaceBook.