The Roman god Janus, the god of doors and gateways, of beginnings, transitions, passages, and ends, gives his name to January. As a god he languishes uncelebrated today, but he is with us in spirit: we write up events of the past year for our holiday greeting cards, and then we make resolutions for the year to come.
Even if you don’t actually write out cards and resolutions, it feels natural that this would be the time for it. Sing about Old Acquaintance and choose a diet. List your family’s achievements over the last twelve months, and pick up your Marie Kondo. Eat the last of your frozen tomato sauce, and plan next summer’s garden.
I’m already deep into seed catalogs and I’m probably going to clean out some closets, but there’s a great deal of evidence that a more substantial new start needs to be made.
Add up all the plastic you used last year, and get some glass jars and tote bags instead. Think of people you believed were political idiots last year, and try to see the world through their eyes, which may cause vertigo, but maybe also conversations. Pick any of the ways the world’s been hurting in the last twelve months, and put some energy into healing it. Start anywhere.
Ring out the old, ring in the new.