Our First Ambitions

"The melt" © Kathy, 2007. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
The melt” © Kathy, 2007. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The first day of the year feels like any other weekend morning, except on a Thursday. Mason and I get up twenty minutes apart and each go running separately before the sun comes up. We take turns showering and using the stove to cook breakfast. Each time our paths cross we exchange kisses, hugs, and those awesome jokes about having not done this or that all year.

By 8:30 we’ve made it through our morning routines at a lazy, nowhere to be speed. He adds in writing an email and I spend longer than usual with a couple new books. We layer up and make our way to the still empty street.

We find an open coffee shop and settle ourselves at a table meant for four. He drinks coffee and I nurse a green tea. Our computers opened in front of us and bags, coats, gloves, and laptop sleeves stacked on the table and extra chairs. We work diligently, glancing up every so often to smile at each other. He winks.

Absorbed in my writing, I don’t notice people filling in the space around us. The slow rise in ambient noise is just steady enough I can ignore it entirely. Just before 10 AM I look up and see that we’re surrounded by people. In couples, alone, with their entire families.

They may seem a little rough around the edges, like maybe they stayed up too late last night or drank a little more than they planned to. But there is a giddiness in the air. A palpable hopefulness to which everyone contributes.

So yes, maybe the idea of a new year meaning anything is unfounded and silly. But maybe the logic of it doesn’t matter. It can make an entire group of strangers so full of the belief they can be anything it fills a room. Maybe that is proof it doesn’t matter if the actual day is insignificant.

You make your own significance. And I feel you.

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