It was the last day of a sad year, but my mood was good as I woke early on December 31. We had passed the winter solstice, and although the death toll in California continued to lead the nation, the sun was shining in Marin County. My English art teacher, Paul Foxton, sent out a message that he would be painting one last time for the year on Facebook and YouTube. So I passed an hour and a half over breakfast and coffee, watching him carefully select colors for a painting of a vase of white and pale orange roses. Rather than obsessively trying to paint along at his pace or taking notes about every color mix or brush stroke, I just watched.
At the same time, I nursed some sourdough through its bulk fermentation throughout the day, doing the final knead according to Tartine standards around 3 in the afternoon. The loaves came out better than my attempts last year. Maybe another indicator of normalcy and progress?
In the middle of the day, the sun was out bright and shiny over Larkspur, and my wife and I found time to walk into town for our daily walk-up coffee, and then back to the house.
Our dinner was quiet after a week of fire-pit evening visits from my son and his girlfriend; for New Year’s Eve, I poured a glass of California rye, and we ate as a couple, indoors, where it was warm.
There was a degree of hope on the horizon that we would survive this plague long enough to get our vaccines sometime in the coming year, and that others would too, giving up the anti-mask and anti-vaccine madness under a new government.
In the morning of January 1, the dawn was breaking with color.