Making the new year

There is no start to time and no end to it.

The year starts whenever the bright disk of the sun edges up over the hilltop. It starts when the moon sets, diving into the far end of the lake and plunging the world into utter darkness. It starts when the sun is mid-way to the west, or the moon waxes or wanes gibbous, or the clouds thicken enough with thunderheads so that no heavenly light shines through.

The year begins with the first gasp of the baby, the last of the elderly man in the hospital bed. The year begins with a woman swinging her feet over the bed’s edge to the wooden floor, or the dirt floor, the tile, the carpet, the street itself. The year begins with a cup of coffee, a banana, hastily swallowed medication, a self-willed fast, a hungry scramble for not enough food.

The year begins when the reapers arc their sickles in the grain. It begins when a gardener pokes weathered fingers in the dirt and drops a few seeds in. It begins in the depths of winter, when green is a memory hidden under the snow.

You say: Make resolutions at the hinge of the year. But time is not a door that we walk through, and which bangs shut after our passing. Time isn’t a book-end or an arrow.

Time is the drop of rain that joins the melting snow, merging into the creek, the river, the ocean and then up again into the clouds. Time is the seed that drops into the dirt, thrusts up as the shoot and then the plant, flowers and drops seeds, and then shrivels and rots into the humus.

We make time and are made by it. It is always beginning and always ending, and never beginning and never ending. It is, in that it is a measure of process — any process. It is not, in that it doesn’t exist outside of process, any process.

Celebrate your new year when you will, and make your resolutions when you will. May your heart be content with your place in the process that is time.

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About whitecatgrove

The musings of a Druid priestess, singer, poet and musician in Upstate New York.
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