Farewell, Fourteen!

The Christmases rip around quick enough…only the minutes are rugged. – Edna O’Brien

Another year I’m not sorry to say goodbye to. These past few months have been defined by sad news and sadder losses, including the death of my father-in-law – a true and faithful gentleman and role model of honour. For several of my friends and extended family, this past Christmas has been their first without close family members and the shape of the dawning new year is, as yet, unimaginable in their absence. But the days are short enough without another reminder that our lives are short too and, as the waning hours of 2014 surrender to the inevitable, it seems more fitting to spend a little time thinking on good memories, times shared and experiences embraced over the past 12 months.

In 2014, I took my niece to get her first library card and I’ve been read to every week since. I tied his bow-tie on the morning of my brother’s graduation. I tickled the toes of the baby daughter of the friend I made on the first day of secondary school. I sat within ten feet of Michael Nyman while he played Memorial and got to share the experience with one of the best friends I’ve had. I’ve sang along at concerts and read aloud and watched beautifully-made films in the dark. I’ve closed my eyes against warm midday sun and opened them to stars at midnight and have trusted my feet to carry me to places my mind could barely conceive of reaching. And lo, they brought me here.

For tonight, my house smells of Christmas tree; the BBC adaptation of Mapp and Lucia made me laugh out loud; LP is warm in the way that only a very well-cuddled dog can be; there’s food in the fridge, my runners by the door, unread books on the shelves and 2015 is as full of promise and hope as any and every new year can be. Let’s meet here again next year and marvel at what a year we’ve had: it’s going to be a wonder. To you and yours, best wishes for it.

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