New year, new space: Welcoming 2017

The finished sunroom, looking out over the snow-covered fields. Hartford, NY.

I am spending the first morning of 2017 enjoying the happy new sunroom I added to my house this year. I can feel the new energy here, fresh, open and welcoming, the right way to approach this coming year. I have my coffee, my notebooks, my camera and my computer. I am trying to do a little writing, which I’ve neglected over the holidays, as this is now the perfect space for it.

But mostly I am watching the light change outside as the sun emerges from behind the clouds, dusting all the blue-white snow in gold.

There’s only a little furniture right now, a small metal folding table a chairs I bought on clearance, a few end tables I’d stowed away in the barn, and an old rocking chair in dire need of repainting. The cats have a couple trees, too, to hang out on and do their birdwatching, and I put down throw rugs for the dogs to stretch out on. I moved some of my plants in already; I couldn’t wait for them to feel the warm sun on their leaves.

In spite of all the troubling events of 2016, I feel a great sense of peace and rebirth. Even though New Year’s Eve as a holiday has lost it’s appeal for me over the course of time, I still very much appreciate New Year’s Day. It is not a religious holiday or a political one. It  simply marks the chance for a new beginning, one anyone of any faith, race or cultural background can embrace.

It is a day of existing in two places at once, both the past and the present, of holding them close and seeing them through a state of almost suspended animation.

Like many people, I did not always like what I saw the world in 2016. But in my own life I did have a few wonderful and happy times, people and things I was very grateful for, proud of, or enjoyed. I published a book, did a lot of writing, painting and taking photographs. I made new friends and shared memories with old ones. I adopted more pets into my little family. I stayed in good health, and made honoring my needs and my feelings a priority. I stood my ground when I needed to, and began embracing the whole of myself for the first time.

And I added this wonderful sunroom addition to the small piece of the world I call home. It is already working it’s magic on me, I know. I feel the sun warming my leaves like those of  the plants around me, the green things I sense growing just underneath my own skin. Here I can come and remember that I am a part of nature, of everything, and feel that connection every day (without necessarily feeling the bite of winter’s chill). Here in this new space we can all grow together, sharing peace and light, comfort and joy.

Tomorrow the spell will most likely be over a bit. January 2nd will arrive like any other Monday, and normalcy will return to my world. So I will enjoy this new magic while it lasts. And a little more coffee with my sunshine, too.