Snow started falling here in southern England the day before we were due to fly back home for Christmas. By morning the whole country was snowbound, and we had no hope of getting out. We had to make other plans for Christmas and put off our visit home till spring.

It was a real shock to miss that flight. To get over it, I had to throw my whole heart into celebrating the holidays here. But celebrate we did, with spirit, despite icy roads and food shortages and a niggling sense that we stood half in one world and half in another.

Several weeks on, this continues to be a season of dark and light for me, wonderful and terrible by turns.

So no grand resolutions for me this year. I’m just trying to stay ready for whatever comes. But outside my window, on New Year’s Day, I saw two crows silhouetted against the gray morning light.

One for sorrow, two for joy…

Not a promise, exactly. But maybe a reminder — to take joy, wherever and whenever it appears.