New Year’s Eve reflections about life in the dark

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come whispering, “It will be happier.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

I wrote my last post about light on the darkest day of the year. Today, the eve of a new year (New Year’s Day in some places already), is supposed to be all about light and hope. And in spite of my optimistic Winter Solstice resolutions about hoping without reason and loving without expectation (and I intend to stick to those, I promise), I cannot help but think about the previous New Year’s Eves when I threw open my front door to welcome those years into my life:

New Year’s Eve 2019: The end of a decade, the beginning of a new one! (uhhh…guess what 2020 has in store? Pandemic.)

New Year’s Eve 2020: God, I’m glad this year is over, let’s move on! (still pandemicking…and personal crap broke me…)

New Year’s Eve 2021: Well, that year sucked. Let’s try next year on for size! (still pandemicking and the personal crap intensified…)

I think it’s best to approach the end of 2022 without expecting too much from 2023. Instead, let’s look inside for the change we need. That’s why I intend to stick to my two Winter Solstice resolutions.

Hope. Even when it’s dark and it’s been dark and you’re bone cold and can’t imagine warmth ever again. Hope because if you believe the light is coming, maybe it will. If you give up on it, though, you will never see it even if it does come.

Love. Let love be its own reward. Love your family if you’re lucky enough to have them. Love the people around you. Love things. Love music. Love a flower that peeks up through the sidewalk if that’s the only thing you can find to love. Love the feel of the sun when it shines. Just love because it feels good to love and it will give you strength.

I will still open the door at midnight on New Year’s Eve. I will welcome the new year with hope even if there’s no reason to. I will love the new year, but I won’t expect anything from it. Because life is indifferent to me, and I will have to accept it all…good and bad…regardless. But if I believe the light is coming, at least I’ll have my eyes open when it does.

Photo by Michelle Garren-Flye. Copyright 2022 Michelle Garren-Flye