With the dawning of a New Year came the opportunity for reflection. The past twelve months seemed to have evaporated into thin air, void of any real accomplishment now that she had a chance to recollect them. Replaying the year over and over in her mind, she paused at insignificant memories, the feeling of wasting precious time tugging viciously at the guilt-riddled resolutions that had long since been forgotten.
It was January once again. The world around her was occupied with fresh starts & new beginnings.
The excitement of the New Year had been hard to ignore at first, but as the unwelcome reality of the year's first month set in, any sign of enthusiasm promptly faded to a distant dream. It was hard to shake the feeling of failure. She had made only five promises last year. Five simple, unquantifiable pledges that had started out so well. In the beginning, it had been easy, it had almost been fun. Yet as the weeks turned into months, months into seasons, seasons into a calendar year, any hope of fulfilling her declarations had been foolishly dashed.
She stared expressionlessly from the window as if she might see where the year had gone if she looked hard enough. It was no use.
Heading towards the kitchen to tend to the whistling kettle of water, she moved forlornly. Outside was wintry gray & the darkness was beginning to descend. She quietly poured the steaming water over the tea leaves & waited patiently in the silence. In the back of her mind she played last year's resolutions on repeat, wondering how she'd managed to fail so miserably. Her head was as foggy as the scene on which she gazed upon, unable to see beyond the shortcomings that were once again in plain sight. A terrible habit, she noiselessly noted.
Tired of feeling sorry for herself, yet unable to move on from what was starting to feel like complete disappointment, she returned to the window clutching the hot cup of tea as though it might alter her current disposition. Slowly she sipped, the amber liquid warming her Winter-kissed lips. As she faltered again on the edge of losing herself in reflection filled with shameful defeat, she inhaled deeply. With a forceful expulsion she made a conscious decision to simply let go; after all, what good was dwelling on failed resolutions?
It was time to think ahead. To move on from the debilitating notions of guilt & regret. She would live in the past no more. She intentionally pushed her mind to ponder the upcoming year as opposed to the one she'd left behind. With the hot tea remedying her mood, slowly thawing her from the inside out, she began to consider all that lay in store & how she was going to make the best of the forthcoming months.
Outside the fog was lifting. Pulling on her boots, she departed for the garden to search for signs of life. The cold dusk air was invigorating. Kneeling next to the flower bed, she gently coaxed back the frozen leaves to reveal her Winter roses. She let out a quiet exclamation of delight. Beneath the weathered foliage of last season, new growth was forcing its way upwards. Small unopened buds adorned one or two of the more advanced plants, sure signs that despite the frigid season, life continued to thrive. She remembered the hellebore in her Grandmother's garden, relentless year after year despite her doubts. She paused to appreciate the sentiment. Smiling, she gently caressed the sweet buds. "Thank you," she whispered. For in that fleeting moment of reflection, she had found, without truly looking, her resolutions for the year ahead.