If months were our children, and playing favorites was shameful, I would still unabashedly choose December. Spilling with joy, warmth, and little cold-nipped noses, December fosters a special sense of togetherness, genuine love, and benefic interaction. She graces us with her tender charm, lacing the world in a thick, white blanket. Her song is a symphony—she alone is a simultaneous consonance of winter carols, swirling wind, and hearty laughter by the fireplace. Her eyes are twinkling Northern Stars, and her lips are frosted with tiny flakes of snow. Deep-set laugh lines frame her kind complexion—though eternally youthful, she is well versed in tradition. She wades through the world each year—through mangers in stables and teetering trees in campus commons. She’s ethereal and wonderful and gentle. December is a perfect way to end the year—we soak up the blessings, hug tightly, and laugh freely. Then, quietly, softly, gently, we shut the door to the year, allowing December to sleep peacefully behind us. In her place comes January, gifting us with fresh chances and renewed hope.
For all of the reasons that I love December, I adore January for just the opposite. January is a balls-to-walls (origin of the phrase is benign, see here), “out there” kind of gal, absolutely itching to shake the world. She wants change. She craves it.
I love her for her wild spirit. Tangled hair blowing in sea-salty air and a mouth wide-open and smiling, she swallows up life in big, happy gulps. Her zeal is contagious. Her eyes sparkle with confidence, and her mind brims with innovation, creativity, and brilliant new ideas. Life is her canvas, her imagination the paints. Her ideas splash and dance all over the world. She touches people’s hearts and blesses their souls. She prays with grandmothers on the subway, and gives pennies to the little wishful girls with their patent shoes and pink dresses. January dives into academia, swimming through textbooks and literature, as she drenches her mind in the intellect of others and consequently nurtures her own. She likes to keep her pencils sharpened.
Her body is her temple, and is mindful of what she feeds it—wholesome, nourishing food for kick-butt, save-the-world kind of energy. She has big plans. As soon as she awakes in the morning, she thrusts open the curtains, saturating the room with golden sunlight. She lives for the light. She spreads the light. She is a light. Stretching her limbs and naked toes, and basking in the warmth of the sun, she smiles. From under her pillow she pulls out a small notebook and turns the page, synchronously delighting in the crinkly sound of the paper.
“To Do Today,” she inks on the top of the page, with loopy O’s and crossed T’s.
“One - Learn calligraphy.”
She stares up at the ceiling, lost in visions of dipping pens and crimson inkbottles.
“Two – Buy tulips.”
“Three – Polish my Italian compliments.”
She temporarily caps the pen, thinking of cobblestone streets and the charming men selling tomatoes on the corner. “Buongiorno Principessa,” they coo, gifting her with snappy asparagus stalks and richly hued bottles of wine. She would blush a little and glance at her toes, secretly delighting in being Italy’s own little princess.
“Four – Stich together words. Write a book. Find a publisher.”
“Five – Entertain the art of conversation.”
She caps the pen again.
That’s good for today.