The house is dark and asleep as I stumble down the stairs, carefully holding on to the side rails. Kaya, usually stretched out at the bottom of the stairs (although sometimes she sleeps on the couch where she shouldn’t be) greets me with a lazy grunt, but she does not get up. I turn on the lights in the kitchen and start the coffee.
My computer sits on top of the round table in my sister’s breakfast room. This is where I write.
Next to the table is a large window, black and impenetrable at this early time of morning. The darkness outside feels so dense it takes a leap of faith to believe that light will start to illuminate the large oaks in the backyard in just a few hours. Maybe they’ll even be graced by sunshine. If they are lucky.
The new year is here, the holidays over.
The kids had come home, everyone got sick with colds and the flu at least a couple of times, and now they are all off to new adventures.Together during the holidays
Nena is back in Alabama, writing her first novel. Sasha is in Ohio, working and finishing his law school applications. Mike is in Holland, starting his clerkship at the International Criminal Court. Nikki is leaving for foreign study in Ireland in a week or so. Sam is starting a new semester in a few days, and saving money to visit Mike and Nikki in Europe this summer.
Jeff and I are still searching for a house. We made offers twice, on two lovely brick ranch homes, but were outbid each time. I am trying to be patient, but sometimes I feel unsettled. I need a space of my own.
All through the holidays I have been reading Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I knew as much about Lincoln as what most schoolkids know, very little, but the more I read, the more I admire him.
I admire Lincoln not because he was perfect and a genius, but because he understood his own imperfections and those of others and was boundlessly kind and compassionate to the people around him. In a difficult situation, he always tried his best, but when mistakes were made and mistakes are always made, he forgave himself, he forgave others and he tried again. His clear-eyed humanity is what touches me most.
So, as the new year stretches out ahead of us, fresh and unknowing like a wrapped offering, I send these wishes to you: patience, love and compassion towards yourself and the people around you.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Politician. President of the United States. Source.