Or maybe I'd be out tromping over spongy hills, leaving behind me a chain of fleeting, seeped-up puddles, my face turned higher into the billowing, moist air, my lungs filling full of the aromas of next spring's nourishment, now shiny, rich, black yesterday -- a black so brilliant in its own way against all the wasted beiges and browns -- deposited in worn, water-shifted tufts and frozen waves along the path, my ears peacefully sifting through geese honking and wind whispering against the naked, tickling ears of black trees overhead.
In the first days of a new year we spring up and raise hands to praise the promise and potential of what lies ahead. We hire tough new instructors in words and resolutions. They'll whip us into shape. They'll usher us forth into new worlds where we're smarter and sleeker and happier.
But on a January day like today, when snow has melted to reveal what lies beneath -- remnants of the past that will feed and enrich the future -- I'm reminded to savour the years and selves that have brought us here. To honor and recollect the days and our old souls who have shown us as carefully as a bent, grey, wizened guide in a faded field-coat which ways to step and not step, shepherding us in mellow, age-worn voice over a shoulder, Here, watch this protruding root or rock or briared-branch. Or perhaps left the field-coat hanging on its hook and just turned to a chapter in fading pages of a favorite old book to remind us where we can look for the simple comfort and intelligence of what's already happened, familiar and maybe a bit rustic, but real to us, in a world gone head-over-heels for glistening tomorrow.