The calendar on the wall, once as fresh-faced as a newborn, has lost all but one of its pages. Like a tree that lets go of its leaves in Autumn, it marks the dying of the year.
Its final page, which only 30 days ago announced, with much fanfare, the start of that whirlwind of a month, December, has gotten wrinkled and dog-eared with use.
We have come full circle again in this strange man-made concept of time and like the trees that have shed their leaves, we are taking time to pause and reflect and, eventually, renew.
I'm hopelessly nostalgic at the best of times, but never more so than at the end of December, when we're on the cusp of another year.
This is a time to reflect and count one's blessings. To be maudlin and shed a tear or two. To mourn the past year and its losses and to rejoice in its gains.
Traditionally, this is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.
A time for New Year's resolutions you know very well will never be kept - even recalcitrant me is making them subconciously.
My Christmas Eve outfit:wearing 1960s shift dress accessorized with assorted charity shopped bangles,
a vintage brooch and a necklace, ring and pair of rosebud sprinkled tights once bought from the high street.
Be kinder, be a glass-half-full kind of person, be less afraid of change ... the list is endless but in the end I cannot change who I am. And what's more, do I even want to?
And why, oh why, even wait until this symbolic date to make changes if you really want to?
“Every moment is a fresh beginning.” ~T.S. Eliot
Jos's Christmas Day outfit, featuring a green waistcoat from a vintage shop in Welshpool
and his best pocket watch which used to be belong to his eldest brother
To be in good health and to live in the moment: that's about all I am wishing for. I do not ask for much. It's the little things that make me the happiest.
The world outside our window seems sapped of colour, at first glance grey and unappealing, the leafless trees reaching up their gnarly bare branches to the sky.
They do not ask for much either, just another year will see them right.
Another Spring for their saps to rise, their buds to grow, their leaves to unfurl. To blossom, however briefly, on the mildest of May days.
Another Summer to provide shelter under their shady green canopies.
Another Autumn to put on a fireworks display of turning leaves, for birds to feast upon their berries and seeds.
Another Winter to lay dormant, their tangle of branches and lacework of twigs silhouetting against an ever-changing sky, a place of rest for the restless birds.
Yes, we have come full circle again, and in a handful of hours we'll lay the old year to rest and raise our glasses - our cups of kindness - to a new one full of hopes and dreams, wishing that at least some of them come true.
My Christmas Day outfit: vintage maxi dress worn with a symphony of faux pearls, consisting of a vintage
Christmas wreath brooch and a necklace from the high street. Charity shopped sparkly teal cardigan
with another vintage Christmas wreath brooch pinned to it. The ring was another high street find.
So, I am starting the year with a ray of hope for the future year, a glimmer of Spring to come offered by this small clump of delicate Snowdrops caught on camera in a local park only a couple of days ago.
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger
of Spring, And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
~ William Wordsworth, from "To a Snow-Drop"
Happy New Year!
* The post's title is borrowed from Christina Rossetti's poem of the same name, dated 1853