Clean Slate

When I was young, I loved going from window to window to watch the falling snow.  It was beautiful as it fell, layer upon layer.  When morning dawned, the scene was spectacular!  The snow, more than a foot deep, sparkled like a field of diamonds.  I would eagerly get ready to go outside and yet would hesitate to take the first step into that clean field of snow.

It was almost too beautiful to mar with my boots, too beautiful to pull a sled through its purity.  I did not want my dad to let the dog outside.  I did not want his paw pads tearing across the landscape of the fresh fallen snow.  I liked the clean slate.  The yard full of fresh snow presented so much promise.  That said, eventually I would venture out and I’d shovel a path.  I made my family walk the path so that the snow would stay gleaming and pure for as long as possible.    

New Year’s Eve represents a bit of the magic of freshly fallen snow.  As the seconds tick toward a new year, I feel that same familiar anticipatory tug:  a clean slate is almost here. I treasure the transition from one year to the next; I value the notion that it’s indeed a new beginning.  Like the path through the fresh snow, the New Year brings an opportunity to chart a fresh start. 

What does a clean slate signify and how is it important?

There are many times in life when we wish we could press a reset button.  All of us have said things we cannot take back.  We have, each of us, done things that we are embarrassed about and wish we’d made a different decision.  We momentarily, or all together, have lost faith, sense of self, and trust of others.  These are the dark moments when the snow is muddied and we cannot remember the peace of the first wintery blanket. 

And then the ball drops, the confetti falls, glasses clink and a New Year begins.  We forgive ourselves and others for being less than perfect and realize in that moment that anything is possible.  The gift of the New Year is the gift of a clean slate, a fresh beginning!  What hopes and dreams do you have for 2017?  What promises will you keep?  Who will you positively impact this year? 

365 new days.   365 new chances.