There’s a single pot of soil neatly placed at the right side of the front door. It’s a nice pot, but not necessarily a stand-alone piece of home décor. Yet it, like all the other pieces of the courtyard, has its purpose.
For the last month, the whole country has been decked out with gaudy and dazzling displays of extravagant decorations. The displays crescendoed on December 25th, held out until January 1, then fizzled into the month of January, which for many, comes as one of the gloomiest of the year.
That is not the case for my boyfriend, who, upon taking down our luxurious displays of holiday cheer, left sudden and surprising spaces on the floors, the shelves, and the walls. These, he calls his New Year’s opportunities.
When the clutter of the season comes down, everything that had to be moved to accommodate lights and trees now has the choice to return to its place of origin or find somewhere new. Furniture can be repositioned. Paintings and photos can change rooms. Old things without a place can give way to fresher, new things in a way that is automatic and natural.
With new space comes new ways of thinking, new approaches to old projects. Brooms now rest against walls, not to be put away until all the floors have been swept. The bike that needs a paint job is now sitting in the middle of the courtyard, totally unavoidable until it gets painted. There is now a bin in the nook to hold all of the dog toys once they are collected. This New Year’s chaos sets the stage for a 2015 that is ordered and clean.
The pot of soil by the door is a reminder of such things. We could put any type of seed into it that we desire, and it would, given the right level of care, sprout and grow. It’s the embodiment of a new year. The soil is there and ready for us; all we have to decide is what seeds to plant and how best to care for them. When presented with such a garden of opportunities, how can January be anything but the most exciting month of the year?