31 December 20XX
My Dear Lucilius:
I see by my calendar (for which, by the way, I do not have a replacement) that the end of the year is upon us.
No retrospectives this year. No falling ball in a sea of people. No gatherings, no fireworks, no singing of a certain Scottish song by a certain Scottish poet to denote the change from one year to another, save the turn of the earth under the stars.
Tonight as I pen this it is cold but clear: the stars twinkle as they overlook the small huddled houses of a civilization that has largely gone silent, unbroken themselves in darkness except where small huddled pools of light indicate someone awake as I am. The rabbits happily munch away on a snack. The fire slowly crackles away, sometimes in time with the rabbits as they eat, sometimes in opposition.
In an odd way, Lucilius, I find myself hopeful: The event finally happened, the balloon finally went up. I know we have spoken of this for years, but now there is no more wondering of a “when”. There is now no more "When", there is only the “What is next?”
But to my mind that has a strangely encouraging cast to it. “When” indicates a kairos, that Greek word for a moment in time. “What is next?” means that there is a next, and that it is as likely to be good as it is to be bad. And in a year when it has seemed to be nothing but bad, I am willing to take the risk to believe there is yet good to come.
Happy New Year, Old Friend.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca