Lillian Gard on the New Year

Some people start the New Year greyly. They don't mean to be depressing, but they count up the number of sad things the last year held: the folks who passed away on into the Bigger Life Beyond; and the many losses and crosses and trials experienced during the three hundred and sixty five past days.They call it "taking things seriously." And if one rushes in on their meditations by exclaiming "Happy New Year and many of them to you!", they'll reply with a drawn look on their faces and pulled-down corners to their mouths, "Ah! No one can tell what this year may bring- none of us poor humans. That is hidden from our eyes!" as if troubles and trials were being specifically arranged for the world generally, the only bright spot being that people will remain in ignorance until the hurricane of devastation swept over them. How very ungrateful it seems, doesn't it? Just get away by yourself for five minutes and look at life from the other aspect. Go over, one by one (only they are too many to remember, as a rule), the scores of joy-plots which the old year held. List up in your mind the number of friends who came back to you from the land of sickness or the gates of death. Ponder on your own individual bits of blessings- the cheery days and the healthful days, and the successful days and the days of strength after weakness or comfort after heart-pain. You'll find a good many, won't you?

You'll live again, maybe, some hour when hope's sun seemed to set and to leave you wandering in a shadow world of doubt- until a hand led you out of the dusk and showed you a golden glow of "all things well" on the top of the hill.

There were care-days followed by relief; rough roads which led to pastureland; and frets and worries which fled helter-skelter down the mist-vale when you were plucky enough to drive them from you.

And the New Year, with its white fair stretch of beauty, won't daunt you then. You'll wish "Happy New Years" to each and every one. You'll look forward to all that's bright, all thats courageous and strong and lovely, and you won't fear the "hidden" things of the future, for gold as well as drab is woven through the coming days.

There is no flippancy in giving the shy New Year a smile of welcome- nay, in most cases it merely shows gratitude to one who guided one's feet so surely along the year gone by.

Lillian Gard, 1919.