When I was in school the years seemed to start and end at the close of summer. I enjoyed the release of that routine when I left my educational years and entered "adulthood". I like starting over every December 31st. Of course we are not machines and we cannot just hit "empty trash" when the clock strikes midnight. But I still enjoy the ceremony of it.
One of my favorite 2 1/2 year olds named Ruby sleeps with what I call her "entourage". It consists of a blanket (or two, but one specific one of course) a plastic doll, a stuffed cat and often next to her bed, a sippy cup of juice or water. One night this fall while I was watching her she emerged from her sleeping quarters, sippy cup in hand and arms full of her entire entourage. She had the whole quivering lip, I'm so tired but I can't sleep thing happening and it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. I scooped all of them up and we sang some songs together to get calmed down.
"Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are..."
I carry around an entourage too. From this past year, from every year before that, and sometimes I even borrow baggage from tomorrow. And I wake up afraid too. One day your plastic doll and tired blanket will not be enough to scare the dark away. I fear that day for you but I need not because I know you are carried by arms much bigger than mine, bigger than your parents, and He will always sing with you until you get back to sleep.
"Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky..."
This next year is such an unknown for my husband and I. Our roles in life are changing and nothing will stay the same. I suppose not everything will change. We will still love each other and I will still soften each time he says my name. The keys to our house will remain on our keychains and I will soon make baby food with the same food processor we use now. There will be mornings and evenings, suns and moons, as there always has been. But still...I can feel the winds changing direction when I stand outside. I can feel it blowing through my hair as I place my hands where this child grows inside me. I can feel you moving, baby, as your father and I are moving. "Look up!" says the wind. Watch! Listen!
And so we will watch, we will listen. We will enter this new year with great joy and great trust in a strength that surpasses understanding.
The Star, by Jane Taylor
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.