My word of the year is calm.
Calm like flowing streams and gentle skies. Calm like the field I saw from a bus window that one time in the English countryside. The one that stretched on and on with no end in sight. Even the horses were standing still.
Calm like a stretch of snow that hasn’t been stepped on yet. Like the sound of one of Mozart’s sonatas being played by unknown fingers, drifting from an open window at dusk.
Calm like the moon.
Calm like how a baby looks sleeping. And how an old man looks when he’s reading the newspaper with one hand turning the pages, the other holding a cup of coffee. Calm like how Opi’s blue sweater made me feel.
Calm like a church that’s completely empty except for you. Calm like flickering candles on Christmas eve. Calm like the pealing of the Cathedral bell I heard walking home one evening in Amsterdam.
Calm like Sunday mornings in spring. Like pink slippers and soft pillows and the taste of strawberry jam. Like geese flying in perfect formation over the bog and the trail of clouds an airplane leaves behind.
Calm like how your breathing gets when listening to a little kid sing a solo. Calm like winter sunlight casting shadows on the wall. Like a sleeping city just before sunrise and the feeling you get when re-reading Pride and Prejudice.
Calm like the light glowing from a lone apartment window. And the sound of a voice you can trust. The beach on a November afternoon. Warm milk and honey. A parade of monks in orange robes softly walking by.
And calm like the expression on your face when you wake up one morning and realize that everything’s going to be okay.