THE NEW YEAR
New Year's weekend at Colonial Beach, VA - Photo by Julie Hockensmith
Barely had the year begun when someone trudged out into it to explore. I agree with C.S. Lewis that joy, always unexpected, always a gift, can be so intense that it is painful. That is what I felt when I looked at this photograph: a sharp slice of heaven piercing me through. How can I better describe this? The colors, the newness of the day, the fresh snow, the lonely footprints, the tranquil water, the sleeping boats, all hit me with a beauty so intense that they caused my heart to ache.
Life is breathtakingly beautiful and is heartbreakingly sad. With the hopeful promise and snow-blank slate of each new morning and each new year comes the parting of ourselves from what was, and can never be again. Each moment is precious and has it's purpose, though I sometimes long to be unaware of all that, just to live inside of the moment like a puppy and not be always on the outside of it, looking in. But truly, no moments are ever ordinary to me anymore, but singular, holy and sacred. Despite that, my bad behavior often tries to make them profane. And knowing that each holy moment can so easily be wasted or mocked makes for deep regret and the need for a good confession.
But then, I pick myself up, because some force compels me to trudge on out into the still and frozen new year while others are yet sleeping. I take a deep, fresh breath, and hurry back to wake you. And feebly attempt with my words to tell you how the morning air contains the smell of snow.