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Perspective: A meditation on January

Katie Andraski

On New Year’s Day, I walked into a cloud that settled on the neighbor’s field, now cleared of corn. I could not gaze to the silver grain bins, like unlabeled soup cans in the distance. A few days earlier sun-risen-light bathed this field in pink.

Nope, I could see no further than a drape of white. I had just read an article about dementia illustrated with images of fog. As a person with mild cognitive impairment, I might say, maybe so.

Or maybe this is a true picture of stepping into the next moment and the one after that. Maybe it’s more sane than the pressure January brings with all the hype of making resolutions and charting out goals. Years past I’ve listed tasks in my planner. I can open it in December to see very few check marks. Have I wasted all that time?

Well no. It just means I couldn’t predict what each day would bring — the spur of the moment lunch, or the quiet protest at county board or the live wire puppy. Even the greeting Happy New Year unsettles me. When a number of years have been peaceful, the peace absorbing griefs along the way, I know a year is coming with blow after blow, loss after loss.

All I can do is step into the fog, enough light clearing the way to see the road ahead, offering enough time to step off when a car comes, enough time to wave at the driver.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University. You can read more of her writing on Substack at Katie's Ground.