By Susan Dromey Heeter
There is something lovely about new … a new look, a new beginning, a new year, a new
outlook. As I joyfully muse about new, I think of those experiences, those moments in life that are just so much better new …
It’s glorious to wear new sneakers … until about the second time I sport them. I think I can run a marathon – just the feel of new laces, new soles, well, account for energy I never knew I had. A new toothbrush is phenomenal, I realize upon using one that I hold on to my old brushes far too long. It’s astonishing how firm and cleansing new bristles can be. And a new stick of butter is pretty awesome – untouched, so horizontally magnificent, so ready to be spread.
I’ve had one new car in my life, a Volvo station wagon my husband and I bought in Holland, had shipped to New Jersey and drove to Alaska. We drove that blue car into the ground, returning it to New England after several years in the Last Frontier. Truth be told, I think that car became very “pre-owned” once it met Bayonne .. the bloom was off the rose, let us say. Alas, I can admit to smelling that new car scent once in my life.
Today I opened a new box of crayons – all tips sharpened, all colors aligned. All I could feel was joy, potential … nothing broken – yet. It is the start of school for so many – teachers and students alike. It’s all new – faces, lunch boxes, bus drivers, class rosters, roommates. The fade has not yet begun, the routine is still brisk, fresh, glorious. People like each other.
And, let’s face it, we’re all pretty good when we’re new … wearing our “I hope you like me” masks – a bit uncomfortable, happy to please. I spoke with a new colleague today and she told me of her six-month-old marriage. She is, yes, a newlywed. I want to bask in her newness, watch as she cherishes her first Christmas, her first Thanksgiving with her new partner. Ironically, I have been sporting a “Just Married” t-shirt around our house. A friend gave it to me in a bag of clothes and I enjoy the laugh it gives my husband and daughters. I like pretending I’m new.
But I am reminded of the Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Bummer, Mr. Frost, but oh so true and necessary. Nothing can really stay new and fresh – except, I do think, joy.
Enjoy your own musings, your own joy and whatever is new to you today. I’m off to color and potentially break some crayons, perhaps the Crayola goldenrod.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.