It seems I often end up working on such holidays, the forces of man and nature often in a hurry to come to some unspoken conclusion that ends with my hustling around before I freeze to death, the dance of a woman gathering up a string of broken pearls in a burning house. There's a frantic patience in such work, and time usually slips past, my only awareness that night is done, is the gentle chiding of birds in the trees, the sound of a metal door closing.
At such times my only resolution is simply to get home again, the only promise, that of the little death of sleep, that was in of itself, the end, the escape and my reward.
How much easier if our resolutions were a little more fun.
I will eat more bacon!
I will try that $79 bottle of single malt!
But they're usually not fun. and I, as well, have made them over the years. At such times I'd be out early in the morning, wearing sweat pants and running shoes, the hedges rimmed and stiff with frost, the standing water in the drive, a tiny ice risk ready for someone to take out your remaining good knee. The first few steps would be the hardest, even with some stretches first, muscles grumbling from being woken up early.
So I turn around, and I run back, hard, reminding myself that I am alive, feeling strong, and invincible, the brace of life flowing in and our of my lungs, feeling every bit of my body, there under the clothes. I can do this! My body is that of a warrior, the extra 10 pounds, the little used muscles, my enemy. Then I wake up the next day and discover that not only has my enemy retreated from the field, its supplanted my very battle cry in the process. I thought I had taken the citadel and instead found myself in an unholy alliance with the enemy, who reminded me with every single movement of its superiority, as it mocks with nerve endings I'd forgotten I had.
But there are other times in our lives, not associated with a particular day, season or moon, in which we make a decision to change something in our lives. It will not happen in a day, in even a month. But it will happen. It might be to finally put behind us, something that hung silent and brooding in the dark vault of our regret. It might be to rally and fight, against something we were made to understand that as individuals we had no power over. It might be simply that moment in which we are grown up, which can happen at 16, at 30 or even 60, assuming that clock of responsibility, that if not one of necessity, is at least an intimation of your willingness to carry your own weight, and in doing so, holding your head up high, for those decisions which by virtue of your adulthood, are your own to make, and no one's right to ask for apology over.
That is resolve, not a diet, not an exercise plan, but a way in which you will live, each day, free.
The day won't be over til tomorrow, but it began a thousand years ago, in every day will be an instant that is history, and one that can't be glimpsed yet, for what we are seeing, may have it's meaning a year from now, but not today. It is my day, and I can either turn back now and retreat into the past, or sail conclusively on, to plunge over the worlds rushing rim.
I'll chose the journey onward, as I pull up those sweat pants over aching muscles, I may go slower than on day one, but assuredly will make my path down to the railroad tracks, over to the church, thinking not of miles or muscles, but of weathered lumber, the simple crossroads of mortality and the conclusion of flesh, thankful for each and every moment. Even the ones that hurt.