Contemplating a quiet new start


The week between Christmas and New Year’s has always left me in a state of mind for which I have no words.

The week is not gloomy nor is it blissful. It’s not a letting down nor a lifting up. Perhaps it is a sense of loss of what was and a concern for what is to be. During the past month or so, we talk of peace, joy, love, faith and hope in terms of this wondrous season. As we move through this time between two of the major celebrations on our calendar, I wonder how tightly I will be able to hold onto the meaning of these words today and in the year to come.

When the girls were small, I often used this week between the holidays to contemplate possible changes that might affect their young lives and that of their parents individually and as a family. Today, the children and their children are adults and while the thoughts are still there, the scope has enlarged. Not only do I think about potential changes in my life and those I love but the changes in our country and the world.

It is with these thoughts that I yearn for the return of the serenity I experienced one New Year’s Eve evening in the quiet of a mid-winter’s night on the farm. It was the first time I managed to stay awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve. As an adolescent I had a picture in my head of what the stroke of midnight would mean. I expected whistles, ringing bells, foil hats and tons of confetti swirling overhead. Nowhere in the middle of a farm two miles from a panhandle town of 100 was there the excitement I had anticipated.

Instead, all was quiet. The seconds passed, and we were in a new year without any notice of all.

Granted, I was disappointed back then; but during the intervening years, I’ve lost the need for the bells and the whistles or the swirling confetti. This year, I’m ready for a New Year that is quiet and uncomplicated, much like what I experienced in the center of the farmyard.

May your New Year fulfill all your expectations, be they noisy or quiet. Either way, I wish for all of us hearts filled with joy, peace, love and hope.

Happy New Year!


Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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