Roses on New Year’s Eve

A few year’s ago, I began the practice of embracing The New Year not to inspire new resolutions, but to revisit my goals for the year past and be sure that I was ready to move on. January became a month for closure and wrapping up loose ends, rather than a month for launching new beginnings. With my heart always beating in the cold north, this made sense to me – so much of the natural world is still sleeping in January, so much is still running on reserves. New beginnings unfurl in the spring. 

This year though, January is calling for something more drastic. Not closure, not wrapping up loose ends, but removing the broken ends entirely, pruning away decaying and withering pieces, cutting back all that has stretched too far for too long, not only during this distended year, but practices, beliefs and patterns extending from well before January of 2020.  This year, January feels as though it’s calling to create space for new growth,  to actively detach what no longer serves the greater good and to cultivate ourselves and our communities into something beautiful.

This year, I wish you joy in the garden.

Roses on New Year's Eve

The hands of my clock
 always spin a little crooked
 time a little tipsy
 as the world, at least as I know it,
 counts down the descent of a ball 
 lit with dreams and the best of intentions.
 
 An empty space trails behind it
 dark with goodbyes and broken promises
 10-9-8
 at least for a moment
 we dangle our scars as adornments
 believing they branded us for a reason
 mostly, to have a past to leave in the past
 as our calendar is reborn again.
 
 This new beginning settles strangely
 on the frozen surface of the cold north
 where roots intertwined
 like the legs of lovers
 still sparkle under blankets 
 that have not yet melted.
 
 Seeds sit dry in sheds,
 deliberately not yet planted.
 The Universe, in its planned randomness
 had some fall from the sky
 but even they still lay curled sleeping
 waiting for a longer sun before unfurling.
 
 This Eve,
 when New too often means adding another ambition
 to a never-ending list
 I’ll raise my eyes
 touch that twisting clock in my chest
 glance at the barren space in my garden
 still covered in snow
 light my fire
 and warm my hands.
 
 The rose bush was always my favorite. 
 
 Right now,
 She is sleeping too.
 Thorns more prominent in her slumber
 than the fruits of her labor.
 Reminding me that perhaps bouquets of resolutions 
 are not meant to bloom in January.
 
 Rather, she calls me to prune the dead ends.
 Leave them on the ground
 she says
 just beyond the hedge where this plot ends
 and the pebbled path winds into the forest.
 They are part of a new beginning
 just not yours.
 
 My hands feel empty.
 
 Patience, she whispers.
 There is something to be said
 for the space you are creating.


by JM Guzzetti, 2020

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