I love January. At Osage Station Park in Danville, the trees are stark except for a few leaves that one by one pull away and float lazily down. The pyracantha berries are red or white against dark green or red leaves, and the hundreds of rose bushes that surround the park's edges have been pruned back in anticipation of new growth. There are still some rosebuds scattered about the bushes. The buds and the flowers that still bloom are not the confident ones of Spring with their glorious colors and lusty air. These look the worse for wear, battered by wind and cold. Their tips are brown or transparent, and some petals droop to the ground. Yet, they persist after all the others are gone.
I love January. The air is quiet and heavy, suppressing the noises of children and cars. We only notice the cries of the phoebes, sparrows, finches, and juncos that swarm our feeders. There are more than usual, perhaps in response to the wildfires this year that limited their seed supplies.
I love January. When we lived in Japan, we realized that families set aside the week before the new year celebration as a time to clean, to set aside the worries of the past year, and to prepare for a fresh start in the new year. Here in the U.S., people in business offices used to open their windows and throw out their calendar pages from the last year, ready for a new year. With that same motivation, I wake up the day after Christmas with a strong need to find clean spaces in my own mind for new projects and ideas for the new year.
I love January. I am still thinking of a word for 2018, but I like two that have been submitted by readers of this blog:
What is your word for 2018?
Today is my fourth anniversary of writing Postcards in the Air. I owe a big thank you to all of you readers for your encouragement and inspiration. CHEERS!