And it is a new year. Wholly new for me, as my birthday turns with the year's. Standing here at the pinnacle of another year, at the port of tomorrow, I feel this tug to cast my eyes around - looking back over the Past
- to revel, say, in life accomplishments (a short revel)
- to ruminate (longer) over the ways I am a disappointment to certain entities,
- borrowed trouble
- plans for ambitious self-improvement.
- small and ordinary beauties (yes, even in Home Depot parking lots)
- and for the deeper, underlying pleasures and securities.
And if the Now I were living in were not made up of
But live in the Now I cannot this week. Failing the Now, however, let us consider the Never.
Wrapping plates and bagging up opened boxes of tapioca, tucking cans of creamed corn and Vienna sausages into large plastic totes, hefting buckets of Henry's (the tarry matter with which leaking roofs are repaired) this birthday weekend, I entertained myself imagining fantastic and impossible gifts I will never receive (and would possibly not know what to do with, if I did). The only rule forbids anything Worthy, viz. :
- world peace
- an end to hunger
- personal enlightenment
- faith, hope, nor charity
We shall also discount the merely Impossibly Expensive:
- a month walking the prehistoric droveways of England (the Ridgeway passing through the Avebury stone circle and beside the Uffington white horse, rounded out with the Thames Path, the Cotswolds Way, Offa's Dyke Path . . . ), staying in inns and cottages older than the U.S. Constitution.
- the lost, or more likely never recorded, paper trail of the actual life of a medieval woman - who had a near-death experience and then retired to ponder over it living the rest of her life as a hermit in the wall of a stone church - ideally this paper trail would include chatty letters exchanged with her one essential other and weekly lists that her one or two allotted servants trotted off with on the morning of market day.
Around the next curve will be the ranks of white windmills on either side of the Gorge. Bare branches red and orange rising from a slender sand bar reflected in the water.
Silhouette of heron on lone rock rising out of the river.