New Year’s Day comes like a scene out of an old Western movie. You are unceremoniously thrown out of the doors of a saloon. You land in the street on your face. You stand up, brush yourself off, give one last look at the bar, decide it’s not worth the fight, and walk off down the street, a little bit happy to be evicted, even if it wasn’t on your terms.

At least, that’s how I feel now that the holidays are finally behind us. It was fun while it lasted, but now the long quiet of the depths of winter can work their wonders, restoring peace to the soul, even if it is sometimes accompanied by a little cabin fever and boredom.

The five or six weeks starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s were a full time for us. Events and obligations I had been looking forward to for months came at us steadily. From hosting a small Thanksgiving, to a full Christmas weekend of wandering to and fro, to hosting a cathartic New Year’s Eve party, life took on a different shape than the rest of the year.

That’s a good thing though. Traditions are as much a part of how we experience the change of the seasons as is the diminishing and expanding of daylight.

I found a site today that gives you sunrise and sunset information for wherever you live. Today, the sun rose in Minneapolis/St. Paul at 7:51 a.m. and will set at 4:41 p.m. By the end of the month, it will be 7:35 a.m. and 5:17 p.m., respectively.

Not a lot, but I’ll take it.

At the same time I’ve been shopping for new cross-country ski gear and reveling in the first snowy early winter in recent memory, I’ve also been doing plenty of daydreaming about canoeing rivers and fishing trout streams. Sometimes I’m reasonable, just wishing for a warm spring day when the foliage is sparse and things look a little bleak still, but it’s enough to get out paddling or fishing. But at other times, I let my mind drift to the height of summer, when you leave the waders in the car and wet wade in a cold spring-fed creek, or beach the canoe periodically to swim, or have a long evening to wander the woods.

But such activities are truthfully a ways off. Best to make the most of the moment. As I was falling asleep after the New Year’s Eve party, our house finally quiet after the departure or drifting off of old friends, I thought how a good party is a lot like a good life. As the host, you can put in the hours of cleaning and cooking and other preparations, but it’s not a party without the guests. And so is life not life without friends.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2008 is full of adventure and happiness for one and all!

7 thoughts on “Revival

  1. samh

    “…a long evening to wander the woods.”

    I’m just going to close my eyes and lean back in my chair at work for awhile and let those thoughts languish in my brain for awhile.

  2. rosie

    that scene from a western is such a great way to visualize what just happened to us mentally now that the holidays are over with.

    i’m with samh, and am going to just close my eyes for a minute and remember 100-plus degree summer days drifting in the canoe and swimming in the river.

  3. cK

    We were talking about the sunlight stuff just yesterday, as it had the feeling of that day which arrives in March or April when suddenly we feel certain the winter is waning. The snow will melt. It’s such an abruptly hopeful feeling. It’s grand.

    Happy days, brother. And all best to K, please.

    cK’s last blog post:The Voyeur

  4. dharma bum Post author

    Thanks for your comments, all. Glad to spread both the images of summertime and the new year’s metaphor. I still like the metaphor, if only because it still feels very true. The cold is setting in hard now, and yet I can’t help daydreaming of paddling and fishing and all the other fine things of summer.

  5. Lene

    Hey Dharma Bum,
    I’ve found myself mentally drifting to spring, to fishing, paddling, searching for orchids under supple leaves. And then I try to reign myself in, as you expressed, and be where I am. I’ll let you know if I come back to winter. For now, I’m still frolicking in a meadow of wildflowers. :)

    Lene’s last blog post:Handmade Valentine’s Day Postcards

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