Letters of Life

A New Year’s Words

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.    TS Eliot

The first hour of 2012 found me standing on the esplanade by the Tonle Sap, a tributary that flows into the great Mekong River. The warm and windy air stank of old mud and sewage. We watched the fireworks set off near the Hotel Cambodiana.

The last day of 2011 was possibly the longest day of the year. It started early, with us travelling to our village church an hour away, racing to finish what we’d started almost a week ago, digging and hammering and sawing, painting and painting, then travelling back into the city, being a part of a youth outreach service, then off to a late late dinner, and then counting down the obligatory countdown.

As countdowns go, this wasn’t the most interesting, although the location is probably exotic to some. It wasn’t particularly glamourous either, and everyone was tired upon tired. But we smiled and laughed and chatted, because maybe we knew this was an event not likely to be repeated again.

And so as the first day of 2012, it was pretty special.










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