January. For me, the very word conjures up things like dead poinsettias, stark trees, mud. To say nothing of left-over Christmas cake looking ashamed of itself for existing.
Do you remember that song January? It was released by the group Pilot in 1975. I was thirteen and can still sing it off by heart (not that you’d want me to): –
January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me. You make me sad with your eyes, you’re telling me lies. Don’t go. Don’t go…
I’ve been yodelling away in the kitchen for years, admiring the poetic beauty of the lyrics – the long month of January hanging on; its melancholy eyes making me sad; lying to me about new starts. Then, just as it’s about to end, not wanting to leave its cocoon-like embrace.
So imagine my surprise when I found out the song isn’t about the month at all. It’s about a girl called January (probably an even rarer name in 1976 than it is now). The songwriter said he got the name from a character in a book his wife was reading at the time. How random. I feel a bit let down.
I dislike January but haven’t minded it so much this year. It’s brought gifts – time with family and friends, a grandchild to look forward to, a special event. There have been hard things too, of course. Undiluted pleasure (this side of heaven) is a rare thing.
But nature reminds me that patterns of light and shade are blended not linear. You see them in marbled clouds and sunsets, watery stills of trees, lanes pooled with sunshine. And always, the wide and generous sky.
So I’ll burrow into the last couple of days of January, shiver on the walk to work; watch bulbs knife through quiet earth; droop when the light pales early; stay by the fire for a second cuppa. And nurse my conviction that God gives me January as a slow-time place to mend, after the Christmas-crazy. I’ve spent a lot of time in my head this January which is good and bad: I’ve had ideas for a sequel to Braver (Bravest? Very Brave Indeed?) But I sometimes forget others are not in my head. So when I remembered something stupid I’d done in town the other day and said fiercely, ‘Idiot!’ out loud, the person in front of me turned and stared.
‘Not you.’ I explained quickly. But this didn’t seem to help. She glared so I rushed into a shop at top speed. Then had to come out because it was a jeweller’s.
Never mind. This morning, I heard birds. They were singing loudly, a whole choir of them on the neighbour’s roof. And the daffs are up.
Hang in there. It’s not long before it will feel like a different world.
Thank you for reading. You can find out more about my writing under the Books tab.
4 thoughts on “January – sick and tired?”
This made me laugh out loud as you rushed into and out of the jewellers!
I’m so pleased it raised a giggle, Sue!
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A super read with your characteristic skill in describing nature and the seasons and … well … more or less anything! I really like your ideas about things not being linear or straightforward. That’s just how it seems to me too.
Thank you! Yes, it seems to have taken most of my life for the penny to drop on that one! Ah well. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂