291: A Happy New Year Story from Victoria
Day 291: January 1st, 2021
A Happy New Year Story from Victoria
Once upon a time there was a little fire pit who was feeling old and tired...
it had been loved for a very long time by a wonderful family, but the family had grown smaller and the fire pit was no longer being used for family gatherings. In fact, it was left outside in the garden, unused, for a very long time. Until one day, Cindy, the little fire pits mom said, “Let’s see if someone else will love our little fire pit the way we have loved it!”
So she, and her husband Tom, put the fire pit in their front yard with a “FREE” sign on it.
That same day, Beth and Steve were shopping for their Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree Farm right across the street from where Cindy and Tom lived. Beth noticed the little fire pit with the “FREE” sign on it and, remembering that her friend, Victoria, was looking for a fire pit, called her and said, “Come quickly and see this!” And so Victoria drove excitedly to see the little fire pit, and to meet Cindy and Tom, and introduce them to her neighbors, Beth and Steve.
In the process of hearing about the little fire pit's life, Victoria knew she too could love the little fire pit and give it a new home. But, there was a problem! The little fire pit was too big to fit in Victoria’s car! And it wouldn’t fit in Beth and Steve’s car either! “No worries,” said Cindy and Tom, who by now, were looking more and more like Santa and Mrs. Claus, than any rendition Victoria could ever remember! “We’ll put the little fire pit in our truck and take it to your house; just lead the way!”
And so the little Christmas caravan began, Victoria leading the way. Next Cindy and Tom, with the little fire pit safely tucked in the back of their truck. And bringing up the rear, Beth and Steve, with a beautiful Christmas tree tied to the top of their car, driving from the Gramma Buddy’s Christmas Tree Farm, along the road past Andy’s Produce Market, winding beyond the Apple Tree stand, through the town, and right onto the driveway of Victoria’s little home!
Once there, Cindy and Tom helped unload the fire pit, and all the things necessary for it to be happy on Victoria’s little patio. They looked around and were very happy to see that their little fire pit would be well taken care of, and would be just as happy as it had been in their family! And so, with a wave and a wink, they were gone, having brought Christmas to their little fire pit and Victoria... at the very same time!
Now as Victoria turned back to see the little fire pit, she noticed that Steve and Beth were also beginning to look a lot like Santa and Mrs. Claus too! With a nod and a wink, Beth wrote up a list of things needed to fix up and restore the little fire pit.
And within days, Victoria gathered up the all things needed to do the job! And on a bright and sunny morning, both Beth and Victoria met on the patio to care for the tired little fire pit...to treat, and scrape and wash off the rusty bits that had formed over the many years.
Then, they began to apply thin layers of fresh new paint...and wait for that to dry! And that afternoon, Santa Steve came over to help move and cover the newly dressed up little fire pit to protect it from the forecasted winter rains!
(Pat O'Connor celebrates with Victoria)
Now, with New Year’s Eve upon us, the little fire pits’ paint was almost beaming with joy, and so excited to have its’ first new fire to celebrate the brand new year.
Email invitations were sent out to the neighbors with care,
and even though COVID was still in the air,
the little fire pit stretched its’ T-shaped chimney so tall,
and voila...the fire in its’ hearth, poured forth great warmth,
saying Happy New Year...to all!
Burning the Old Year
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately
Norah Jones - Carry On
Katie Melua - Wonderful Life