I've realised, that at this time, when one year gently slips into another, I find myself reminiscing about the ghosts of bygone new year's eves. The memories come to me, in no particular order, an intangible collage of snapshots and a jumble of half-forgotten whispers that pour out of some forgotten fragment of my mind. Or is it our soul that remembers? I know not.
But I do know, that amidst the memories of parties and mayhem, of spumante and pink champagne fizzing out of hastily uncorked bottles as my friends and I sang (or tried to) Auld Lang Syne, while balloons floated gently over our heads and we popped Baci chocolate (not sure why, but we did) into our mouths, there are the equally memorable quiet moments. Moments of intense clarity, that stand out, proud and tall, like solitary fir-trees on a barren, snowy expanse. Moments of silence on the shores of the Mississippi river in the non-descript town of La Grange (MO), where the only sound my husband and I could hear was the gentle lapping of the water of that mighty river, as a feeling of all-pervading peace quieted our hearts. Or the year we drove to the chapel at the edge of the cliffs, in an equally non-descript hamlet, this time in Malta, and listened to a mighty gale usher in the new year. Years when all we wanted, all we needed, was candle-light and mulled wine and the closeness o family - the perfect ending to any year.
But it doesn't end there, on the eve; dawn signals the start of something new, offering fresh hope and endless possibilities. This year is spiraling out of our reach and we stand with one foot in the shadows and the other in the light. We will soon turn our calendars to a new month and a new year, literally taking a symbolic leap of faith into the unknown. Perhaps it is the most courageous thing that we do each year as, unthinking and unknowing, we step forward into a new adventure.
This will be my last entry for 2016. I would like to wish all my readers and their families a wonderful 2017.
Location: Ghar Lapsi, December 2014