As the traditional ball goes down at midnight, I invariably hear a chorus of, “May it be a good year.” I admit to voicing this prayer myself.

But I’ve come to realize  there’s no such thing as a “good” year. Before I’m accused of sounding like Scrooge, let me add there’s also no totally annus horribilus  – to quote Queen Elizabeth’s famed complaint after a 1992 that saw a disastrous fire in Windsor Castle, as well as fiery misdeeds by the royal heirs.

What I share with Her Majesty is time that doesn’t come in lump sums. A year is made up of minutes (some 525, 600 of them – and more in a Leap Year). Surely within these thousands of moments there are experiences, fleeting though they may be, that brighten our hearts.

I admit to telling friends, “This has been a terrible year.” Yes, it’s been my own ”horribilus” in many personal ways – primarily the  incurable illness of someone I love. (On a larger scale , the dismal events going on in our country,which throw a shadow over most of us. But that necessitates a blog in itself).)

What I’ve discovered is that within the darkness there can be nuggets of gold. In the same 2017 I just railed against, I also had a heartwarming birthday with my children, reunited with a long-lost friend, managed to get some writing done in my fragmented hours, had moments of laughter, and just the other morning was surprised by a vivid dawn rising in front of my window.

Thankfully I kept a journal throughout this year. It’s enabled me to sort out my feelings and grasp some that at least verged on happiness. Reading through this journal last night underlined for me how clearly the year – and life – aren’t monolithic, but many- layered.

If life is, indeed, made up of small fleeting experiences, let’s be wise enough to pay attention to whatever joy we are blessed with – and collect these moments for warming ourselves on the darkest days.

Wishing a healthy and serene year to all!

BOOKS: “Widow’s Walk” available through; “Turning Toward Tomorrow”–; “Ten Women of Valor” and”Role Play” – both with and Also Amazon Kindle.

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