“You never know, Comfort,” said Peach. “You just never ever know what the next good or bad thing will be.” (from Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles)
I thought this was a good quote for the start of a New Year. Every New Year’s Eve I look back on the passing year and think about how much happened. The big things: births, weddings, deaths. The small-in-the-scheme-of-things things: weaning my son, his overnight ability to construct sentences, anniversaries, birthdays, realizations, sunsets. Sometimes when I look back on these things I think everything is huge. Sometimes I think everything is tiny. I passed a nursing home today and I pictured myself there, years from now, picturing myself driving passing it as a young woman. Does that make sense? I don’t know. It was surreal. Surreal, but nice. (Name that movie!) I’m sorry. Back to the point.
Every year at the beginning of the year, I try to imagine what will happen. What will we face this year? What will we celebrate and what will we mourn? Who will we meet? So many things can change in the course of a year. Sometimes it’s astonishing just to survive it. Sometimes there’s more joy than you think you can contain, but somehow you do. I used to think maybe odd-numbered years were unlucky because there were a few that were just awful for me. But then 2009 came and gave me a son. A son. In an odd-numbered year I learned that my heart could grow to contain more love than I thought possible, not just for my son but for the husband he so closely resembles and the moms who came to help me learn to be a mom. In some of the awful years of the past, I just learned that my heart was resilient, that it could absorb a lot of pain without stopping. Of course, for me, I believe this is all because of Who created my heart and holds it.
I don’t know what this odd-numbered year will hold. I don’t know what the next good or bad thing will be. But I believe it will be worthwhile in the end. Good in the end.