2016 — many saw you like a boat without sails or a summer without swimming. You could be unforgiving and cruel. People died while you sat you there, like numbers do, taunting us to count on you even when we couldn't. Sometimes, you were so cold, even in the midst of a summer, all we could see was our breath from your frost. You brought hail to the garden and some of the snapdragons were carried away by your storms. You made friends out of strangers, and strangers out of friends, but you aren't the only year to do such a thing.
You were also gentle at times, like a mother whose love is undying yet imperfect. You brought me to stages where I got to sing. You showed me meaning by being the year where I stepped out from the sunken valley that is where am I going and onto the mountain that is here. I was shy before I met you. I was afraid to ask, but you were the year that showed me how the world can unfurl its brow if only you'd let it. I became something - better - braver - even when others were cursing you for your darkness, you were planting light houses and drawing up maps for me.
2016, I saw you as one who sees through a window with snow on the other side. Equal parts anxiety and happiness made up your hours. I don't think I have ever had a year of this much change since I was fifteen years old and moving to Calgary after living an entire life in a northern town that had as much purpose as a dead rosebush. I claimed that year as the year where I found myself - I was no longer bridled by expectation or what others saw me as. I was free in a way, and today, I feel free in a way too, but do I ever want to scream out for those who don't get to feel this way beside me.
Somebody is always fleeing — always blaming the year that was for their misfortunes. Believe me when I say, I understand. Some years can be wolves teeth, sharp and relentless, but some years can be sheep's wool, soft like a couch after many long hours of work. I want the year 2017 to be more like a sheep, less like a wolf, and if it is to be a wolf, let it be the spirit of one and not the sharp teeth. I am slightly anxious when imagining what 2017 could bring, but if it brings me anything, let it be the ability to go places as I do now with breath in my lungs and fervor in my heart.
After all, you are just a human's way of making sense of time and it is up to us if we truly want our January to be different than our December.