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New Year

My husband and I took our first walk of the new year—getting out early (for us) before the rain started. The dog pranced eagerly, pulling on the leash to hurry us along. Cool air brushed our faces, and the road was wet under our feet. I had heard the rain pour down last night—drumming loudly on the roof just after midnight as if celebrating with us. Puddles and rivulets here and there remained in testimony. Along the south side of the road a row of miniature icebergs stood, rising above grass and gravel, left over from the snow plow’s work a couple of days before. The rain had carved them into odd shapes as it melted all other traces of snow.

 Near the end of our dead end street, a lone crow rose from the telephone wires and flew off, cawing as it went. A squirrel flipped its tail at us and skittered up a tree. Maples and alders raised bare limbs to a gray sky, while firs and cedars still stood green and proud. Clouds moved in, growing darker and more threatening.

 We stopped to visit with a neighbor, taking down Christmas decorations. I had always slowed down when passing his house at night to enjoy the lights. But that was last year; now all things were new and starting over. What would be new in my life this year, I wondered.

 We made it home two minutes before the next shower. The new year frequently begins with rain here in western Oregon. We may tire of it at times, but rain is a good thing. Rain refreshes the earth and brings the beautiful green shoots of spring.

 What new, green things do you hope to see in the coming year?

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