January is an appendix. A little hanger-on from the year that has gone by, a time to wrap up lose ends. New beginnings come in February. In February, the light changes. There’s a special something in the air, a certain quality to the light. It only comes on a clear February day, when the dazzling winter sunshine reflects off the snow that still coats the ground. The temperature drops and the air is crisp with promises. On days like today, the slate is wiped clean. That is when the new year truly begins. Fresh with promises and everything ready to begin. But by lunchtime, the light has changed and the magic hibernates for another year.
I walked 5km in that February sunshine today and managed to get inside before lunch. I’ve even begun to recognise some of the people I meet on my morning walk. Or at least their dogs. There’s the woman with something that looks like a cross between an Argentine Dogo and an Old English Bulldog. The two brown labradors who run free by the water. The Corgi and the Yorkshire Terrier. Each one I see makes me regret that I can’t have one of my own.
Days like this always feel magical. New beginnings are like a thousand excited butterflies clamouring to be let lose. They’re the rainbow that follows the storm and the sunshine that dances on the water. That short story I was talking about the other night takes place on a day just like this one.
One day. So you can see why I had a little bit of trouble picturing it as a full-length novel. I’m not Proust.
But that one day will be just like today. Filled with the promise of something new, another chance, another path. Most days are pretty much the same. When the day ends we’re the same person as we were when the day began. Except for those very rare days when something momentous happens. Those days when we go to sleep with the most enormous smile on our face and the feeling of a thousand excited butterflies clamouring to be let lose. We meet that special someone, we discover a new passion that takes us down paths we could never even have imagined.
That’s New Year.
Today wasn’t like that. But it reminded me that days like that can happen. And knowing that puts a little smile on my face.