“This year just flew by.”

Can’t tell you how many times this has been in the wind lately. But it did—the past 12 months just flew, quite literally sometimes, as the twigs, branch and bark-strewn pavements indicate. Purple-gray clouds scuttle east as 2016 comes to a close.

I am touched by the gentle attitude of people over the past month. Overall, those humans I’ve come into direct or eye-contact with have been kind, with gestures as simple as allowing my car’s entrance into the street or simply the act of making eye-contact. No nose to touchscreen, no laughing and asking “How are you” to which I respond, “Good, and you?” only to realize, red-faced, that the asker has a hands-free ear-phone and they probably didn’t even see me in the first place.

I don’t know if this goodwill is due to feeling optimistic because the President-Elect is going to fulfill all their hopes and dreams, or a last hurrah before the end of days for the same reason. Sure, shoppers were a little tense this week, with brawls across the nation’s malls. But my shopping is generally mall-less, so I didn’t experience any fist-fights or worse. Long ago, my grandmother banned the board game Risk from her house, so it was a season of peace, even when the whole family gathered in from all points of the compass.

Here in the quiet flatlands, the post-holiday exodus to work desks and lines dawned cooler, the mud and melt hard and walkable again. As we head into a new year, signs of trouble in the form of beer cans, popped Straw-Ber-Ritas and liquor bottles are increasing along the roadsides. One associates an increase in goodwill with joy and prosperity. A lack of civic pride and the general well-being of the world is…well…not.

Have you ever heard, “Everything old is new again?” Of course you have, unless you are so new that “old” isn’t even a word and words aren’t anything at all. To quote the very old, at least in human terms, Aesop, “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”

Keep looking up.