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January 1 arrives like a gift. It is no ordinary day, as January 1 beckons forth a whole year’s worth of new days. January 1 holds in its palm a full measure of eager possibility, tinted with the promising hues of hope, and if we dare, expectancy.

Yes, today a new day dawns. It yawns. It rises brilliantly out of an old year, weary and spent, and it casts its rays out over a calendar year of days yet unknown, before they open, blossom, and shine. January 1 holds the kernel of creation about to burst.

In ways that we can barely grasp, January 1 contains a unique brightness and undaunted optimism. On this first day of the year, the newness is glorious. In this earthy, organic, and wild place we can breathe our deepest and not feel crazy for expecting the birds to burst into song and the trumpets to blare, if only because we’re starting something new. We’re at the beginning of days.

Today we peer into a whole year that holds all things new and unseen, and we can dare to dream a bold dream and a hold a spectacular hope that things can be different or better, more meaningful, or more true. Today we can lean our shoulder into the effort of more than three hundred days ahead, all strikingly new.

We walk through so many ordinary days, filled to capacity with overburdened schedules and exhausting routine. We get dried out, and worn out; run down by it all. But today, as the new year glints with bejeweled opportunities spread out ahead, we feel a deep reaching, a longing grasp out ahead, for that fresh-for-the-taking handful of all that the new year might offer. We turn the calendar’s page, crack the blank journal open to page one, and declare an intention for the new year ahead. Today we open our heart, our very mind’s eye, to the dear possibility that this year all shall be well.

January 1 is the best kind of day. Taking the broadest view of the year ahead, there is no reason not to hope for the best kind of brimming over, radiant days. On January 1 we can take this vivid, breathtaking view and run with it! Headlong we run, with a steadfast, abiding conviction that newness points up, and out, and in the very right direction.

How can this be, except that it is like the dawn of creation? When land gathered together, and birds swarmed, and cats purred for the very first time. When the first blue sky produced the first late evening sunset of magenta and gold. When the garden was both green and ripe, and the people lived in harmony and peace. When God called it all good. That was THE beginning.

That is how today is, January 1. Today is not ordinary. Today we release the careful, walled-in expectations of last year and the year before and we imagine the unfurling, unbridled, spontaneous good of new beginnings. Today holds an uncanny sense that all the new might be good, and that all shall be well.

Katy Sundararajan

Katy enjoys writing here at the Reformed Journal about the small things that give us pause and point us to great wonder, the things that make our hearts glad and remind us of where our hope comes from. You can find more of Katy’s writing through Words of Hope free daily devotionals, and in Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. Give Katy a good book, a pretty view, or a meal around the table with laughing people and she’ll say, “All is well.”


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