As midnight struck, and gathered friends all wished each other "Happy New Year", I realised with a surprising depth of shock that this year brings another Birthday.
Not a birthday, you understand. A Birthday. One of those Birthdays that make you ask, "How did that happen?"
How did that happen?
Too many blessings to number. Too many kindnesses received. Too many mistakes forgiven and forgotten. Not enough good done by me, and too much good done to me. And though there are times I wish I could blot out, wipe away, go back and tell myself to avoid or do differently, there are more times - so many more - that I cherish beyond words, with folk near and far and gone before who make all these days glorious.
I stood at midnight with a surprising depth of shock at what this year promises to bring; but on reflection the deeper surprise lies in gifts already received.
Ahead can only be hope that such blessings might not yet run dry.
Here's a seasonal song - the saddest of all Christmas songs - but the wish behind it is that we might get the chance to be together; as I start this year, I offer a Happy New Year, and a hope that I do indeed get to see as many friends near and far and old and new as possible in the months ahead. You are always the blessings I seek.