I was up in a tree when the thought came to me: Reset Button. That's the magic of a new year. Another day passes, and the page on the calendar turns. Everything is new again. It's all possible again. A universe of do-overs are there for the taking. Never mind that most of the planet is already immersed in a fiscal calendar that resets sometime in May or July, it's a new set of months to tick off until we arrive at our eventual destination: Back where we started.
Part of the magic of all this experience is the more or less circular path our planet takes in the cosmos. We can look back to last year as the time when our globe last spun through this galactic neighborhood. The angle of the axis of the Earth was more or less pointing in that direction when I was last clambering around in the branches of our tacky plum tree, pulling down another year's worth of festive lighting. That's how I know it's time to renew, kind of like when you're supposed to put new batteries in your smoke detectors when you turn your clocks back because daylight savings time ends. When I clean up the front yard from all the twinkling fun, pulling yards and yards of extension cords back into their more traditional place inside the garage, I know I need to think about what lies ahead. Part of this rhythm is encouraged by having two weeks to anticipate it. The kids at our school have just been sent home with the expressed hope that all the learning they did before break comes back with them, and that report card they got just before they left is still a very concrete memory of the way things are.
But it's time for fresh starts. What seemed impossible last year will now take just a little more encouragement and patience. The disappointments and heartbreaks are now carefully put away in scrapbooks and memories that will only serve to aid the next attempt. We can do better. I can do better. It's a leap year, after all. We've got a bonus day to get it right.