It’s quiet as it slithers closer, tongue darting out to test the air. Cautious. It stays low to the ground, the grass barely stirring as it moves. The sibilant noises it makes are easily mistaken for the wind, and quickly drowned out by your recent resolutions so desperately chanted. Though dying in intensity, it is still enough to mask the soft hissing.
It’s so quick to sneak up that you don’t even notice it until you turn around, and find it gazing contemplatively at you. You stare back, willing your legs not to tremble. Would it attack? Strike at you? Would it bite you and leave you to slowly succumb to its poison?
It approaches a little bit faster this time. It’s audible now, though just barely. You want to take a step backwards, but you’re frozen. You begin to sweat, just a little bit. Your palms are clammy. Your lips are cracked and dry. You suddenly notice that your hair is too long. It’s falling into your eyes, making you blink rapidly. Your clothes now feel too tight, too restrictive. You should have worn a looser shirt. Not that you can even move at the moment.
Somewhere in your mouth, a tooth is throbbing. One of your muscles spasms slightly, twitching an odd beat against your skin. Your throat itches. You remember that you haven’t had enough water to drink today. It has also been a while since your last meal. Was it really that long ago? It felt like only a couple of hours… but it has been almost half a day. You scold yourself for losing track of time.
And then before you can blink, it’s in front of you, slowly rising up, swaying, staring you in the eye. Its tongue flicks out, breathing you in, and you can’t escape.
Slowly it winds its way around you, securing you in its cool, smooth embrace. You tense up, unsure, scared. But it does not squeeze, nor does it bite. It hisses soothingly in your ear. Murmurs of things to come. Of changes, of success, of new opportunities. And around your shoulder it settles down, a constant companion, until the next one comes trotting in.
How do you feel when a new year approaches you, catches you by surprise? What things come to mind? On what do you reflect? What does the new year look like as it comes ever closer?
My reflections on the new year.
Happy New Year!