What happiness there is when I awake to find near me the gift of a Morning!
-Abbie Graham

From "Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor" by Sarah Ban Breathnach:

There is something so splendid, so abundant about Life's "second chances" that arrive each morning. Perhaps it's because second chances (or third, fourth, and fifth!) are the golden opportunities we thought too good to be true the first time around. Now we know better.

Let your New Year begin with a ritual of reverence and reconciliation I call Tabula Rasa-a clean slate-which is an evening dedicated to dreaming about the weeks and months to come and how you'd like to savor them. Revel in them. Appreciate them. A sweet New Year's ritual is to be "at home" to the Future. Curl up in your favorite chair, listen to some soothing music, sip something festive and bubbly, and slowly light twelve votive candles-one for each new month.

As you light the first candle, ask the month of January, are there any old desires you need to relinquish in order to move on? As February, what new-to-you "ordinary" ritual can you begin integrating into your daily round or week that will be self-nurturing? Perhaps it's leave your desktop clear of clutter at the end of each day, but it could just as well be take a nap on Sunday. Ask March, what new dream is seeding itself in your imagination? Be fanciful, curious with your questions. When you ask each month its question, whatever answer pops up, be it whimsical or practical, act upon the suggestion and notice how you feel later. Keep a record of your experiment in a journal.

Pretend you've never been given the gift of a new year before. Dame Good Fortune has swept in with her arms full of presents just for you. In a little book that I cherish, Ceremonials of Common Days, written by Abbie Graham in 1928, she describes her annual visit this way: "I open the door. The gorgeous guest from afar sweeps in. In her hands are her gifts-the gift of hours and farseeing moments, the gift of mornings and evenings, the gift of spring and summer, the gift of autumn and winter. She must have searched the heavens for boons so rare."

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