We saw them all over Christmas, together with their siblings and cousins, and the seven of them, and their parents, gave us great joy and innumerable reasons to look forward rather than back.
Don’t Look Back is good advice on this first day of the new post-truth year, as Jill prepares to fly to Ireland to celebrate the all-too-short life of the life-enhancing Susie Shepherd; whose death was for us the final throe of what has been a wretched year in so many respects.
There is enough out there (some of it from my pen) about Brexit and Trump and Syria and the rise of the right and the terrible and continuing (another in Istanbul last night) attacks on us all.
Although in the wee small hours I do, I am not going to dwell on them in this post; rather, I am resolved to look for - and forward to - a year which will bring us some measure of catharsis.
I am looking forward to taking down the Christmas tree and its associated baubles tomorrow.
I am looking forward to eating truffles in Uzès in a couple of weeks.
I am looking forward to celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday and meeting some long-lost cousins in March.
I am looking forward to seeing and hearing Dylan in May.
I am looking forward to reading new books, to drinking some new wines and listening to new music.
I am looking forward to completing a novel, one chapter of which I have been grappling with for some years.
I am looking forward to helping overcome hatred and bigotry.
And I am looking forward to a new baseball season and finding out if it is true that it’s all about the pitching. Because if it is so, then the Sox might just take another Series.
But most of all, I am looking forward to spending another year with the grandchildren.
These are small things, perhaps, in the great disorder of things. But they will help (me at least) to purge the emotions evoked by the desperate state of our world: a catharsis of sorts.
Yes, I believe in history. But history to the defeated may say alas, but cannot help or pardon.
It’s probably getting there, but so long as the kids are well and happy and healthy, it’s not dark yet.
Happy New Year.