The house is quiet, the hearth flickers and sighs with its flames, offering heat against the freezing night. The Christmas tree keeps me company. It has been many years of solitary New Year’s Eve vigils. I had my celebration a couple of nights ago, when we helped a dear one celebrate his birthday with an outdoor fire. He cooked over the hot coals that blazed as we all tended to that fire inside. There were the hushed conversations that fires bring. Bodies huddled forward against the frigid night. Quiet laughter and firelight dancing in one another’s eyes. The stars were singing their brilliance, lit by the half moon floating high. We ended the night with a launch of fire balloons, an idea my daughter had brought back from a festival she attended in Thailand. I found some eco- friendly ones online and ordered them for the holidays. We chose this night to be our New Year’s Eve. As we lit our balloons and held them to the sky until they tugged to fly free, we spoke our wishes in our hearts. It was magical and felt in keeping with the fluid nature of time to set our own timing for the new year. I felt such exuberant joy as our small group watched our balloons float straight up to the moon. They were then caught by a breeze that took them southward, and finally, one by one, disappeared from our sight. We were as children, filled with wonder. Exclamations of joy rang out as we followed the fiery sparks of light on their journey across the night sky.
It was a night of harmony that felt new and alive. The birthday man had issued this invitation: ” It’s about winter and darkness and the fire we can build in it….” We all felt touched by it as we ate the celebratory cake. Their was a giddiness to the conversation, laughter at the collection of hats on our heads, dug out from the basket collected over the years. Our hearts felt innocent and free. This…this is what is opening for us all. This sense of joy, of play, innocent delight in the elements of fire, cold air, luminous paper, brilliant stars, warm hands. The coal burns yet in my heart, I have only to think of that night,to ignite its warmth once again.
My bed calls me to dream in the new day. I thank the Christmas tree with its lights and the fire in the hearth for their company. I step out to thank the stars that wink in the icy canopy of this last night of 2014. I bring in an armful of logs to stoke the hearth for this long night. Gratitude for all that has been, fills my heart. I send out my lovelight to all that is a part of this world. May we all be blessed. May joy and love and peace be made real for each one, by each one.