We brought in the New Year in a low-key way with dear friends. We sat around a table laden with a wild miscellany of food since we all brought whatever we wished, I made corn and cheese souffle and my husband made his signature salmon mousse, and we ate deviled eggs and sugared nuts and bruschetta and artichoke spinach dip and pepper jelly cheese and drank lots of Prosecco and the conversation went wherever and I looked around the table and thought how much I enjoy these people and I was thankful that this wouldn't be one of those years of wandering haunted through the rooms of my house, thinking we should have planned something, sure the rest of the world knew to plan something and now we would be slipping across the boundary of midnight without the sweet scaffolding of other souls, free falling into the new year without a plan. There are years like that, but this wasn't one of them. I looked around the table at all these people I have grown to love and I thought, we have watched our children grow up and away from us, watched them head out into the night so sure of what they know, angled like compasses towards their friends and leaving us each other. And as we raised our glasses at midnight and sang an off-key Auld Lang Syne I was grateful to take my cup of kindness with these friends and I wished silently that next year we might do this again in one of our homes, because it was so easy with them and I felt accompanied and accounted for and it was really sort of perfect.