'The year is going - let him go!'
(I only know this is Tennyson because it's a line in one of the pieces we sang in our Christmas concert.)
The crackers are pulled, mince pies eaten, wrapping paper put out for the recycling, and it's time to pick up the pieces of normality (whatever that might be.)
However, it is worth remembering that time and date is a person-made construct, that the decision that the year turned in January is simply an idea that we have all subscribed to. Nothing magical has actually happened. That doesn't mean that we should turn our backs on all the razzmatazz. Far from it - I enjoy a good shindig as much as the next man or woman. But I have no doubt that those went to bed early with a mug of cocoa on New Year's Eve, just like any other night, can confirm that one day slips seamlessly into the next whatever the calendar might tell us.
And yet - to return to Tennyson, who was writing about the turning of the year - maybe these dark winter days are a good time to reflect, let go of regrets and 'what ifs', and look forward to what we might be doing when the days get longer.
Which, for me, is double-edged. After the Earthquake came out just before Christmas - and has some lovely reviews already, plus making a significant contribution to the house-building fund. If I were ever to take marketing seriously I ought to do it now, given that Nepal needs the income.
But, just as this little book needs me to cheer it on, and I'm still talking to anyone who will listen about the house-build appeal, I'm deep in last-minute planning for the next trip, to Ecuador and the Galapagos. This trip has been on the calendar for months - long before I knew I was going back to Nepal and thought I might write about it. I am at the helplessly excited stage. (I've got one more blogpost before I go - so I'll tell you more then.)
So I'm sorry, Tennyson, but I can't let go of last year. I shall carry the needs of Nepal and her people with me into 2016, for nothing magical happened at the turn of the year to solve her problems. At the same time I'll look forward to my next adventures.