This week has been one of those strange liminal times. No longer really Christmas (though more traditional folks will remind me it’s still the 12 days of Christmas), but not yet the New Year. I’m off work, there’s nothing much to do, and there’s still piles of food in the fridge to eat. Things are closed, and people are sleepy and focused on their families and homes.
I guess there is a sense of waiting, now the hubbub and noise of Christmas is done, waiting for the last party, the final celebration of the year. Then everything goes back to normal, back to work and school and daily routine. But maybe with a touch of hope, a touch of expectation that the new year, this year, things will be better.
This year I don’t know what I’m hoping for. Nothing concrete. I still feel a little too bruised, a little too small to take the risk of making my hopes tangible, voiced, written things. Sometimes it feels that if you don’t acknowledge your hopes, if you wrap them up in your heart, then you won’t feel so achingly disappointed when they aren’t realised. So I’m not facing my hopes head-on today, I’m not looking at them directly. I’m letting them hide themselves in my heart, and hoping to sustain them, quiet and safe in there.
But I am letting myself feel their presence. I hope that whatever fears and disappointments you’ve suffered, you can let yourself feel the presence of hope too. Don’t be too cynical. Let a little of the hope for a new year enter your heart. It may be dangerous, but I think next to love, hope is one of the fundamentals that makes the human condition bearable.