it's January 1, 2015 at 7:30am. i'm sitting at the desk in my office with a mug of freshly brewed coffee, looking out at the serene waters of Howe Sound. the colours of early morning have already started to paint the sky with their subtle hues of pink, orange and red. the rising sun sparkles on the water's glassy surface. the water is still, but slight ripples run through the reflection of the mirrored mountains.
the sky is still mostly dark and the town is quiet. there's no cars on the roads, the boats are all still docked, and no one's milling about. no one’s morning chores have yet begun, and no one's heading off to work. these are the early hours of a holiday, before most have awoken.
if my cheeks appear rosy and my nose red, it's not from last evening's misadventures, or from being left out in the cold, it's from the pastel palette of water colours that shine through my window, fresh strokes from the brush of a new year's day first rising sun.
a bird flutters past my window and is soon followed by two more. the trio of blue jays sit together atop a power pole fifty feet across from me, and with my house being perched on the side of a steep hill, we sit across from each other at eye's level. them looking in at me, and i out at them. they appear round and plump from the thickness of their down and winter feather coats. they're spirited and jovial, rustling their wings, cocking their heads, chit-chatting back and forth as if to welcome the dawning of another new day.
a low cloud rolls across the hills on Keats Island across from me. if i were there now, in the midst of it, i'd call it fog. but from where i sit now, i know it's nothing more than a brief morning mist and that it'll soon burn off and pass on by.
i don't have a headache. my ears aren't ringing. i don't smell of spilt champagne or stale cigarettes. i'm not bereft of sleep after a restless night in bed. i'm not upset at how my night didn't live up to my expectations, as i have on this day so many years before. i'm not angry over not finding a cab, or having to wait for hours in the cold in a long queue, just to lose my mind when the clock struck twelve. i feel no leftover stress after having to make last minute plans, or from feeling forced to buy costly tickets. i didn't have to put on a fake smile and celebrate with strangers, just so i had an excuse to distract myself and pretend that i was happy.
i can see a lone loon now, gliding across the cold winter water, content.
last night i sat under the cozy covers of a warm, flannel-sheeted bed with the girl i love, watching a documentary on a man and his art, a man who did it for no good reason at all, other than because he simply could and he had something meaningful he needed to say. we drank herbal tea and ate vegan nachos and coconut ice cream. we didn’t go dancing. we didn't watch the ball drop. we didn't count down from ten or clink glasses while watching other people celebrate on TV.
and it was all i could ever ask for.
i've lived here for one full year now, here in this small coastal town. when i look back to where i was before, in the big city and even long before that, i can see my life has changed in countless ways. but most importantly, the place where i come from when i think has changed. my perspective has shifted. i’m now on top of a hill. things are so much more clear and less cluttered than before.
although i've been sitting here for an hour now, slowly typing and observing the world outside my window, the golden rays have only just begun to radiate from behind the tops of the mountains. i can now feel its heat washing across my face, instantly warming my entire body. one of our cats, Mister Man, just walked into my office. he coyly flirts with my leg, then jumps up onto the ledge, closes his eyes and turns to face the warmth of the sun.
a flock of geese fly overhead. i pick up a pair of binoculars from the sill and watch their graceful flight through the increasingly colourful sky.
i don't know what the rest of my day will bring, nor do i have any idea of what the coming year has in store. all i know is that right here, right now, all is perfect in the world, and regardless of all the apparent troubles we seemingly face, i have a hunch that's how it's always been.
i can hear the day breaking now. the stillness of morning slumber is slowly being replaced by the subtle sounds of a town waking up. a door closes shut. more birds have awoken and have begun to sing. a car’s engine has started somewhere close by. i can hear my house creek as it slowly begins to warm after its frozen night's sleep.
a solitary kayak paddles just off the shoreline, and despite the dark depths that loom below, it’s movements are effortless, undaunted by the unknown.
it's four below zero. the house is still cold and i'm huddled in a blanket, but i have no worries. i have a roof over my head, i have heaters, i have clothes, and i am dry. i'm hungry, but i know that i'll soon eat from the food that’s in my kitchen. my fingers may be chilled stiff while i write this, but i know i can easily warm them by petting the soft, furry backs of my faithful dog and three cute cats.
for breakfast, i think i'm going to steal a kiss from the girl i love, after all, it's the only theft there is where no one gets hurt and that brings a smile.
i have no complaints. what a way to start a brand new day, every day.
Happy New Year.