I wrote previously of the way January lingers on my calendar, in a way no other month of the year does.
Today, though, I must turn the page, and comes now February, and then, and then.
Since I was a teenager, I've kept some kind of calendar or organizer, and on it I keep my appointments and obligations, and I'll jot notes of what I did or where we had lunch or whatever went on of a day.
If my high school Hallmark calendar booklet had things like "4pm, band practice" and "4th period, student council," my 21st-century version has things like "9am, mammogram" and "4pm, pick up grandkids at babysitter."
If my little notebook's month past looks like so many chicken scratches--every day filled with some reminder or outing or due date--and it's only through that month's scratchy notes that I can even remember how we filled our busy days--there is a certain satisfaction in turning a new leaf, and beginning again with a month of empty squares, waiting to be filled with the minutiae of my life.
And even before the month begins, the squares begin to fill with "dentist's appointment," and "Jayme's birthday" and "basketball game" and "vacation!"
And if there is potential in every empty day, there is also danger; while last Tuesday might have been "doctor's appointment," next Thursday might be "followup tests," and who knows what goes beyond that? With grace and luck, it's just "dinner out, Appleby's" and the pages turn again.
So today, I must say goodbye to January, loved and hated, the longest month of the year, but the coldest, whose beginning is the end of the holiday season, and whose end leaves us longing for spring, always a new beginning.
So I turn the page: so long, January. What will fill my squares in this new month?
How about you? How are your pages turning?