If you get to be in Rome to see a new year in, you sense how history beckons. Columns, arcades, piazze, bridges arching over the Tiber – history dares you to expect overmuch of the year you are poised to welcome. Likewise, history dares you to make too much of the year through which you have just lived. If you have brought a broken heart to Rome, you can walk and mull. The thing you cannot know is how disappointment and sorrow will soften, how a year later they no longer tell your story.
I began 2013 in Rome.
I began 2014 in Rhinebeck, New York, raising a glass in the company of three people who had not known me a year earlier.
On the drive to the Hudson Valley, I had to cross the Housatonic River in western Connecticut. Stopping by the covered bridge in the town of West Cornwall, I got to walk with someone and listen to the river under the wooden planks. How had I gotten here?
A couple of hours before our midnight toasts, a friend we were visiting had laid out cards and spoken of my life. How had that life gotten to sound like a tale of hope and support and connection?