Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year

I am one of those people who love New Years. I love new beginnings: a new month, a new school year, even a new week. I love that things are always fresh and unspoiled, but also that time passes in a spiral, we are always coming back to moments and traditions we have encountered before. I love the sense of everyone resolving to change, to improve, to get organized and do better, to be healthier or smarter or kinder. (I think this is related to my love of training montages in movies – upbeat music, cut scenes of the character working hard and getting their life together).

I am eternally optimistic about what I can do at the new year. I have not yet nailed down my specific resolutions; and while they will likely include things like less sugar, more yoga, what I really want is to become stronger, not physically, but spiritually.

This is the first year that my Christmas cactuses have bloomed since I have had them. When I was in college I wrote a poem about them for a class I was taking:

Green flats of puzzle pieces
Shoot linearly, up and out,
The new jigsaws
Lighter than the others,
The promise of blossoms
To appear on winter days.

These are the cuttings of
My mother’s cactuses
Which sit in regal pairs,
The cuttings of my grandmother’s
Cactuses, congregating on
Low sun-lit tables,
The cuttings of my great-grandmother’s
Cactuses, which must have
Brightened the old farm house.

A pair now sit in my
Northern window,
Full of the dignity of
Living heirlooms. ©

I have always loved the thought of the connection I have to my mother, her mother, her mother through these plants. And now they have bloomed for the first time for me. This seems to be a perfect symbol for this moment. Perched on the edge of a new year – a new beginning, but still part of the continuous cycle of time and renewal. My cactuses have bloomed. May I do so also.

No comments: