The last days of 2011 were lazy and lackluster. I felt drained and uninspired and my motivation for anything was pretty much nonexistent. This is not an unusual state of mind for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I’m aware. I picked up one book after another and put it back down again. I read the first dozen or so pages of Earl Hamner’s Spencer’s Mountain but decided that my post-holiday self was no longer in the mood. I read the first 100 pages of Alcott’s Long and Fatal Love Chase, which was not bad, but it too ended up back on the shelf (I never do that!). I tried to get back into American Transcendentalism but no longer felt inspired to read it. I finally resigned to the idea that I just needed a break and that the New Year would spark a New Beginning and with it, renewed vigor. But the calendar flipped over to 2012 without any noticeable difference in my mood. Still no energy. Still no inspiration. In truth, I’m fighting off a nasty sinus infection so that provides perhaps a reasonable explanation for my lethargy, but leave it to me to over-think it. No matter how rational an explanation, when this happens, I fear that my reading passion is lost forever, never to return. So yeah, leave it to me to also be over-dramatic.
The weather said snow for Monday and I waited all day like a child in anticipation, glancing out the window now and again, squinting in an effort to catch the random flurry; if there was one, I didn’t want to miss it. But the day passed, just bleak and cold and windy. Very windy. Once I heard shattering glass and there were the frequent rumbles of what sounded like trash cans overturning. The evening hours found me in the kitchen warming up dinner. It was well after dark and all the window coverings had been drawn for the night, when I noticed a strange fluorescent glow emanating through a gap in the blinds. When I peeked out I beheld what I had been so anxiously awaiting all day – snow! Glorious snow! It had come in stealth, leaving the streets, sidewalks, rooftops, everything blanketed in a coat of white. The neighborhood was glowing radiantly as the light from street lamps bounced off the snow. Immediately I felt renewed. Silly though it may sound, it was my metaphorical fresh start.
That night, I plunged into Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, eager to commence my exploration of the Greek Myths. I had ordered a copy of Homer’s Iliad, and at last felt ready to kick off the new year with a hearty challenge. Over the next two days, I absorbed Bill Bryson’s biography of Shakespeare and thoroughly enjoyed getting better acquainted with him in preparation for taking in more of his works this year. This morning as I sipped my coffee I began Emerson in His Journals, kick starting my journaling project.
So finally, a warm welcome to 2012, and all that it has in store . . .