Small promise in the dawn’s empty clouds,
more spiritual than stormy or wet,
forecast moisture shrinks the closer we get
to one more year of praying through a drought—
another season of small marvels and miracles
where epiphanies and wonders rise
from this thirsty earth before our eyes
to ease each day’s concerns for survival.
We are so blessed with these wild diversions
from ample grass and fat cattle
that we begin to think that dry is normal
and greet the New Year with resolution.
In the days when I was young, being older carried certain rewards like riding my bike, instead of the school bus, the two miles to town, having a shotgun or the freedom of a driver’s license – important hurdles to adulthood I anticipated clearing in my dreams, over and over, until they came true. Each New Year was like a birthday, getting closer to that magic 21!
Today, much of that anticipation wanes, its momentum coasting, yet the New Year still stands as a symbolic landmark in my life – and like a new leaf, it’s a chance for a fresh start. The covers of last year’s poetry are closed into a chapbook, and into a file, so I can begin anew, jettisoning the old stuff, looking forward to something better. Because the poetry is a parallel plane to living, this also means closing the covers on the clutter and the non-productive that has attached itself to me, or I to it, over the year(s). A time to trim down to help find my grace.
Cowmen over 60 are rare enough in 2011, but for any of us to find our grace, despite the friction in our joints, seems to be the ultimate challenge – to grin and go on like we could dance. So much of it is timing and gravity, the weight of those things we don’t need that keep us out of step with what’s happening. In retrospect, I can see the significance of each step and stumble, but now becoming so engrossed with what’s at my feet, I have to remind myself to look up to see where I’m going.