New Year’s Day

Past New Year’s Days, I used to look over the coming year and wonder, month by month, what would happen. I was always hopeful I’d meet someone, publish a poem, or just find some peace. I did this through many lonely years as a single parent raising two daughters.

I was lucky; I always had some menial office job that paid just enough to pay the mortgage and most of the bills. But still they were long, dark, lonely years. I remember sitting on the stairs at night, after the kids were in bed just listening. It was as if I was waiting for the one thing or person that would make things better.

During those years I wrote poetry, listened to music, argued with the girls, and dreamed. What did I dream of? Winning a prestigious poetry prize, finding a man to love me, earning enough to fix up my old house, or even better, buying a place with land so I could have a horse. Always having a horse was part of the dream.

I used to tell my girls stories about Princess the evil welsh pony and Freedom the wonderful Appy from my childhood. But neither was interested in horses; they were tom boys and preferred softball and soccer. Yet they did listen to my stories –my Christmas gifts from them often contained pictures of horses or books about them. One year I got a framed photo of Seattle Slew beating Affirmed in the Marlboro Cup. It still hangs in my bedroom.

They grew up. I gave up on poetry. I never did meet anyone. The menial job became a decent job and there was finally enough money to pay all the bills and horse board. My life changed- it got really busy.

Now New Year’s Day is now just another day to ride. Today the weather was warm and the footing decent. I can’t really ask for more than that.

So when I look over the coming year, I want only what I have now, and more days like today.

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