Horse Year

I don't have a lot of strong feelings about holidays, but I've always let myself have some quiet thoughts about observing the transition into a new year. I like that it's downplayed, that my living environment at the moment does not involve obligatory decorations and celebrations that I have to partake in whether or not I want to. It lets me pass the day on my own terms.

It's a moment to clean out old dirt, forgive old grudges, cut loose some of the things that have been sitting on your shoulders, and prepare yourself to accept another year of life. There will be fortunes and misfortunes and problems to solve and opportunities to snatch, and the more old burdens you carry from the old year, the harder it is to face another one.

So, I do the proper thing of sweeping the floors and wiping down the counters and preparing food, while I let my mind clear of the things that I've decided ultimately don't matter. It's just another day, just another year, but it's hard to see the bigger picture changing when the day-to-day ticks by in moments.

The morning was warm, warmer than I've felt in weeks. I couldn't keep the grin off my face while I was biking down to work, as if this is that first day of spring when it's suddenly obvious that the skies are blue and the grass is green and the air is warm, only it's still winter and I am still nauseatingly excited that there's snow on the ground and the clouds are still pressing overhead. Perhaps it was the freedom of movement I've gained from shedding an entire layer of clothing; after getting accustomed to the gear necessary to ride in sub-zero temperatures, outfitting myself for 30F makes me feel naked.

It's called Spring Festival, even though it's still well within the winter season. Nominally, months have names assigned to them so that we can mark the passage of time, but how could we fail to notice time passing? It's the month of sometimes cold, sometimes really cold, sometimes slushy, sometimes stink bugs wake up confused because it's too early for them. It's the month of the crows that have forgotten to go home.

31 January 2014 13:01

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