Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve: A Message from Dan

As the flames of the year are slowly extinguished, and the first sparks of 2017 begin to light up the skies, I write in the lounge of my home. For all the tides of change that have washed over these shores this year, this house remains an island, afloat and dry from the waves of burdening life. Outside, little globes of water cling to the tips of stripped twigs. One by one, they fall like meteoroids, splashing the concrete. Some become impaled on the sharp blades of a frosty lawn. Robins play dot-to-dot with red winter berries.

Inside, tongues of light speak of warmth from the fireplace and I remember those moments in the year when I have been blessed by the warm glows of human spirit. Just as light drowns out the darkness, I am hopeful that the very best of this human spirit will endure and conquer the ripples of uncertainty we face in the coming year.

As the light wanes outside, stars begin to constellate and for the final time this year, moonbeams serenade the Earth with a heavenly peace. In a stable on the bleakest of moors, a dormouse dreams of Spring in a pool of moonlight. Across the cities, sounds of glass against glass begin to ring in 2017. Hearts meet hearts as people hug out the old and embrace the new.

I am about to make my way to a North Norfolk coastal town called Sheringham. It sits in the stalls before a stage of roaring waves and salty spray. Huddled together around streetlamps are hundreds of weather-pummelled cottages. Tonight, in one of these, I will celebrate the year in a lounge of love and harmony. And like the smoke which rises from flames of warmth in my fireplace to disperse out across the sky, may my very best wishes for 2017 soar across the country too and be delivered to your homes and your hearts tonight.

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