I lie in bed, my ribs bruised from coughing, the wind lashing the wet pines outside my window, so fiercely that it sounds like the sea behind the glass. I can almost taste the salt on my lips. I can almost hear the gulls wheel and scream as they ride the thermals, red tongues flying like flags.
I haven't brought my words here in a while, have been tending them instead in other places. I cycle through phases like the moon. Sometimes, all I can write is poetry, slim little slices that shine in the dark. Other times, I write ripe, and round, and full, and more pages fatten the ever-growing book.
And yet, as always, something eventually draws me back here, the way the moon draws the tide from the sand in foaming sheets, revealing a litter of treasures in its wake: crabs with their hanging claws like picked locks; relics of bottleglass worn smooth and blue; oyster shells, whose insides still swim with that pearly light, like a sunrise is held there, like a secret, like a spell.
I left 2015 with a full heart and a kiss. That was the year I loved deeply, and well. That was the year I wrote poems wrapped in blankets, where my body filled out from all the beer and cheese, and I didn't care, because my belly was happy, and my heart. That was the year I climbed hills wild with heather, saw shooting stars dance on the tip of my lover's finger. The year filled with cocktails, and tender words. The year of walks on the
Yorkshire coast with its
rolling mists, and sudden tides. The year of , and of camping in the Peaks, of
pizza and beers in damp, foggy fields, and of laughter, always laughter. New York
I move in with C in a week or two, and still can't quite believe my luck. That the new year should begin so filled with promise, and with love. Such constant, quiet happiness since I've known him; it still feels like a gift. And so even as I lie here, sweating in my sheets, my chest sounding - and feeling - like it's full of broken crockery, still, still, I feel the wildest, strangest joy. For the year I've just spent, like so many handfuls of gold. And for the next one, already smouldering in my pockets. I can't wait to hold it, gleaming, in my hands. I can't wait to see how it shines.