A New Year

A New Year


To step out this morning and feel the sun on my face seemed miraculous. It was cold, with just a sprinkling of frost but a gorgeous day beckoned. There was an extra bounce in Gertie, the rescue, who finds British winters appalling. Relentless wind and slanting rain have buffeted my exposed corner of the world for days. Sometimes it has been hard to stay on my feet on the muddy coastal paths as the wind unbalanced me and the sea crashed in fury against the cliffs like the sound of gunshot. Huge angry waves reared up like sea monsters and roared in as if they would like to grab mortals from the slippery paths…

Today all is calm. The sea is lambent; its voice a soothing whisper that accompanies my walk like a hypnotic meditation. The waves are small. Gentle ripples cross the sea- green coves where we swim in summer. I catch the dark shape of a seal as he turns in the curl of a wave. Larks circle up out of the cliffs to the blue sky singing their glorious morning songs. No red legged choughs on the headland today, but crows call out commands to each other like self- important generals. The paths are blissfully empty. Sheep graze on the hills by the steep, twisty path that leads to home.

In my garden, a blackbird and robin are singing in the old home oak as if competing for a heavenly choir. I stand in winter sunlight and see my narcissi are nearly out. Pink blooms are beginning to cover one of my camellia trees. It could almost be spring.

I have always hated those dark days between Christmas and New Year when the world seems to stop. One year ending but the next not yet begun. Days like today, when the world is still, when a gold sun touches my face and the wind is no more than a breath, the sheer beauty of nature that surrounds and sustains me feels profound in its healing, in its message of hope and possibility. Days of wonder are a rare and precious gift; a reminder to be grateful in this new year, for the small, everyday joys that sustain us…

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