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  • Aram Mitchell

a year ends

The pond near where I sit has ice right to the edges. The ice tips up at the lip of the pond (depending on your stance) like a smile or a grimace. It's prime for crunching with my toes. I stretch my leg to it and press my foot down with deliberate force.

A year ends, the world twirling (depending on your stance) with relief or dread. What if more happens? What if there isn't the sort of respite from woes that we desire, that we need?

Still, there is considerable comfort in the ending of this year.

A year ends, not with unambiguous promise, but with the simple assurance that comes from change. We mark change by the ways we notice and measure time. We say: "This year ends." And so it does, leaving us at the edge of one thing and the next. It's an edge crusted with the cold knowledge that to break through to the next thing we will have to stretch our legs out for another stride; have to set our feet down with gravity sufficient to call it a step forward.

Because years don't end on their own. One day's turn of the world is as common to the earth as every other. For the earth, each day's position in relation to the sun is as significant as any other. The particular significance that we breath into a new year arises according to how we relate with the next moment.

It's ours to make a new year. It's ours to mark the passage of time with some promise of progress. This isn't hubris, it's history. It's our responsibility.

The world spins its quotidian spin and gives us hints of seasonal change. It's ours, our task, our duty, our gift, our opportunity to heed the earth's hints and transform them into something new. It is ours to learn from yesteryear, to craft fresh intentions, prolong useful habits, and press our muscular hopes into the edge of whatever is next.

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