There’s nothing like this time of year for a fresh start.
I began my usual year-end review a few days ago, in which I consider the good and the bad that has happened in the family’s life in the past twelve months. That mixture was swirling in my mind like stirred hot cocoa as I drove back from State College, having dropped off a son at the Megabus. As I passed a favorite park of ours, I decided to turn in and find a bench.
It’s ironic that we’ve never visited a park with such a name in the wintertime. We call it by its nickname, Halfway Dam, and love to grill here in the summer, when the beach is crowded with people and the water is just a shade less frigid. Today, I found it had quite a different personality – hushed as if hibernating or holding its breath until spring.
There were a few people who had come to enjoy the cold,though. Young hockey players warmed up.
And a family had a half-hearted snowball fight.
It’s good to see a familiar landscape in a different light. It’s not unlike my daughter’s room this morning, after she spent yesterday rearranging the furniture – all the same elements viewed from a different angle. I think that’s why I do my year-end review. Distance gives a new perspective on personal scenery.
But it’s not just about looking back. It’s just as much about looking forward. And as I sat on my bench and gazed across the beautiful, unmarred snow that covered the icy lake, it struck me how a new year is like a fresh layer of snow over familiar ground. Sure, much of this ground has been trekked before, but there’s a pleasure in setting out, making a mark –feeling like one is on a journey of discovery.
The metaphor becomes even more powerful to me when I change the time frame: not just each year, but each day is a fresh field of snow. Every day brings an invitation to make a mark, to chart a course. Or to switch metaphors just a bit – every day is like a blank canvas, just waiting for a new work of art. (Or in one case when Grace was little, the snow was both.)
So, I think I’m ready to make my mark on today. Whether it be something whimsical, or just a simple walk on a renewed landscape.
Fresh snow -- a fresh day -- awaits!