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A FRESH START By Betty Kituyi Mukhalu

I have always imagined that a New Year is the edge of time. The clock ticking towards midnight always feels like entering the newest moment in history.

At the exact moment, I feel like I’m more alive than I have ever been and I am a witness to the most recent moment in the story of time as it unfolds before my eyes.

I always experience the new year with wonder and regard it as a miracle.

Joy rises in my heart and
in awe I transcend,
watching the mystical seconds
in the first minute tick my spirit
into a new year.

It is exuberance that gets me to
lift my hands in surrender and
I cry in excitement as time forms
within the space of our reality.

It is a new beginning for everything.

I see it with the eye of my imagination,
I hear it in the rising ululation on my lips,
on jumping feet I say,
“Yes, it is new time!”

I slide many years back to the dark midnight hour
in my village and I hear the oldest man sing,

Netza Khufa
Amukamba zeena,

I emerge,
I emerge,
I almost died the other day.

Like this man, I emerge on dancing feet,
beckoning the New Year towards me,
to collect me,
to tick the first minute with me
into the next breathe of time.


The bud of 2018 unfolded with a special message on my phone. My mother had sent me a new message written in Lumasaba. She wished her children a joyous new year with many blessings. Echoing the old man, she was emerging into the New Year as a child of God. It was a voice I heard very close in the ears of my heart where I listen to her. It almost felt like my own birth moment and I got to hear her deep voice saying, “My child, you are being born again”.

For many in contemporary Uganda, the morning of the New Year finds us asleep having spent the night in overnight prayer meetings or watching fireworks at a popular hotel or gathering. I wonder whether we do not miss witnessing something in the first hours of daylight.

As children, you would wake up on this day with curiosity. We were curious to see whether the sunlight would be different. But we would soon observe that it was the same yellow sunlight but still there was something different about it when we looked with our fresh young eyes.

A New Dawn!

As children, we were always told to keep away from fights and avoid fueling one on the first day of the year. The thinking was that if you fought or cried or fell down on this day, you would spend the rest of the year with bad things happening to you. So we balanced ourselves carefully, peacefully being your best self. You watched your thoughts, steps and actions. You watched the day and tamed your steps. Without suspecting, I wonder whether our parents were training us to live in the moment.

So in closing, I say that:

Imagining oneself living at the edge of time, you get to imagine yourself reborn, a witness, ready and available in the crafting of another year with your talents and yourself fully immersed in it.

Just like children in my childhood, watching to catch ourselves before we fall or fail will enable us to live peacefully in all our relationships the year ahead.

And like my oldest village elder, let us welcome the New Year with a fresh stance, carrying our limping past forward with dance in this fresh year.

God has made all things new.
We are part of the new.
The old has gone and the new has come.
It is a fresh start.

Let us make a fresh start while fetching the young child within us to teach our old boisterous bully something about tenderness this year.

Let us do as Jesus would do, to befriend our opposites and live alongside each other with quiet love.

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Wow, after reading this poem I feel like its really a new beginning. I guess there are many things I did not put into account while entering the new yr. Thanks a lot Madam Betty!

  2. Even on the 16th day of the year, this writing makes me feel like it’s 1st January. I love that new dawn. Cheers Betty!

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