I have been away for a week, ambling around gentle country roads, trying to stuff my soul full of tree shadow, tree song. Now that I am home, I close my eyes and dream those trees. I remember the meandering, story-soaked skies. For a while, I won't miss the place ...
And then my feet will forget the memory of oak meadow, and my breath will thin in the sea air, and again I will long for the green and brown peace that is more than one hundred kilometres away from me. But I have pocketfuls of beautiful memories, delicate stories, and my longing will thread through them like a poem.
Tonight, the old year sits heavy-boned and patient at our back door, waiting for us to let her out. In her lap is a bundle of knitted things. Some are unfinished - there is always unfinished work. Some will be left for us to take as hope and promises after she ambles off into the westward, star-stained night.
The new year is already beginning to dance across our lawn. A storm is coming, laden with magic. A page of newspaper, blown from some neighbour's letterbox, spirals over the grass, snagging for a moment on dandelions; I ought to go out and pick it up, put it in the rubbish. But I like to imagine words floating in the evening wind.
We will open the door for the new year tonight. And dark will drift in over the ocean, down from the blank stone rivers of the moon, and we will gather it up and whisper stories to it. We will dream the year awake.
I wish you old year blessings. May she leave magic, and good bones, and rich memories, and unfinished things you can weave into new wonder, for you.