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the night between the old and new
Saying goodbye to the last year, welcoming the new. 365 pages, filled with written memories and experiences, with change but also consistency, that we leave behind. 365 blank pages, breathing promises and curiosity, that lie in front of us.
While everyone is preparing for New Years Eve, I become all quiet. My longing for the year to end grew over the last weeks and I don’t want to start anything new on these last few days on the old pages. The silence is accompanied by the knowledge of all things accomplished within the last year. The wheel has turned further, the horizons have expanded.
I’m not the same, that I’ve been 365 days ago, but still am the same, that I’ve been almost 35 years now. There is clarity and gratefulness, that doesn’t need the noise. On this one single day of the year, when the atmospheric pressure seems to change, and the winterly grey sky seems to be filled with promises, on this one day all I need is you and the earth around me.
This time it’s going to be you and me +2. Four friends, somewhere north, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I don’t even know exactly where, as it doesn’t actually matter. Old trees and high grass, and on a clearing our tiny home for this night, our refuge from the urban chaos: A Mongolian yurt, small wood-fired stove, fireplace outside, at which we are going to prepare our New Year’s Meal.
So little, so perfect, so everything.
Chop some wood, ignite the fire, prepare the spices. And slowly the scent of hot mulled wine fills the air. The stove is heating the yurt impressively fast, it’s all calm and cosy: the flickering light of the fire, the sporadic snapping of the wood. We are loosing track of time, the world outside our little refuge has stopped to exist.
The potatoes slowly cook in the ember, while the salmon, dictated by the wind, is being grilled directly at the flames. Everything is decelerated, everything takes time, is slow, but it’s not bothering any of us. It could be 8 o’clock in the old year or 4 o’clock in the dawn of the new, it doesn’t matter. Almost by coincidence it’s 11:57 when we check the time. We say best wishes quietly and each one of us launches one symbolic skyrocket into the night.
Dull bangs in the distance are rocking us into a gentle slumber, until in the early morning hours a storm and drumming rain heralds the new year. Wrapped up I’m lying silently, hearing trees bend, winds haul across the land, rumble over our heads and trail off somewhere far away. The rain is playing its song and still I lie here, feel small and unnoticed and at the same time a part of everything. Is everyone else asleep? Or are they lying here with me, awake and silent, satisfied and without a single question left?
As the day rises, the storm has passed. The ground is muddy, the fire extinct. A cold morning sun lits the scene and makes me squint my eyes. Chop wood, make coffee, cut apples for some warm porridge. A quiet first morning. Without talking we clean up, collect our stuff and our thoughts.
Our minds filled with so much, with such significant feelings. Produced by so little, such small things. This is it: True bliss. We take it with us and write it quietly on this first blank page.
Constantin Gerlach, Laura Droße