"...it is not really the end of a year, because a year is not really a circle. It is a segment on a spiral that repeats the same pattern year after year, but never quite identically, and never comes together in a final and hidden meeting place as a circle would.
The year is life itself, forever changing, forever leading on to something else. In each year we look for cherished and familiar yearmarks, and in finding these, we discover the necessity of the suffering the year exacts, the discipline it imposes, as well as the generosities it pours out to us.
We do not know where the curving, spiraled pattern leads, nor in fact whether it leads up or down. We know only that someplace on it there is an assignment for even the least among us, and that the fulfillment of that assignment is important to the pattern and ennobling to the individual."
- Rachel Peden, Rural Free