I had anticipated a New Year’s celebration with the sounds of rambunctious children, and the snoring of reclining adults. I wasn’t disappointed. There were board games, tobogganing, and smooching as the obsolete calendars were thrown into the trash. The only things missing were gas-station fireworks, and a cup of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream.
Yup, all in all things went quite well.
What I hadn’t expected was the melancholy. As my soul met January 1st with chin up and back straight part of my heart was glancing backwards, mourning the growing distance between the right now and the once-upon-a-time. Various chemicals and the odd rebellious synapse conspired together; conjuring up smells, faces, and events that exist in someone else’s world, but used to belong in mine.
I found myself jealous, and longing…
…for the pungent aroma of the West African coast. Taxis overloaded with unwashed, heavily perfumed bodies; fish drying in the sun; the salty air coming in heavy and humid from the subtropical sea. I inhaled the memory, and felt that I was home.
…to be part of my friend’s life again. A warm email comes through on a cold computer screen; I can’t help imagining that you have the beginning of laugh lines around your eyes, and I’ve had too little to do with putting them there. The things you’ve had to face- burdens to bear- I should have liked to help carry. I’ve heard rumors of triumphs and achievements, and a brief smile of pride flashes across my eyes. I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you, but I wasn’t. Really, I couldn’t have been, but I am sorry nonetheless.
Other mental pictures have blurred with time. The clock is relentless, and she doesn’t care about memories faded. When was it that my grandma could walk, or my grandpa see? I can’t recall. It’s painful, but not difficult, to focus on the things that time takes away. Some of them were stolen; others are thrown away in moments of selfish indifference… and now I want them back.
Better to dwell on the things that the days and tears bring closer. If God is as gracious and powerful as He says, then as seconds tick by and pages turn we are led closer to
Like pinpoints of light when I’m slapped in the face by joy, many friends flash across the vision of my heart. You are likely one of them.
Stay the course, dear friend. At the next Beginning I want to walk close beside you in the Kingdom of Light. We’ll enjoy there what there never seems to be enough of here: time together.