The village seems dead. Hangovers are being nursed. Families are indoors, in their own private heaven-or-hells, trying to figure out ways of patching up last night's alcohol-fuelled quarrels. Or perhaps they're just working out ways of erasing the wine stains all over the carpet? Who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Unsurprisingly the world is still in a state of economic meltdown. A fire in a Bangkok nightclub has killed more than 60 people. The carnage in Gaza continues. Firefighters, nurses, doctors and the police are all at work. For them this is just another day, a day not a lot different from the rest, another normal day of accident and disfigurement, of illness and injury, of crime and destruction.
But, hey, let's not be too downhearted! The glass can be half full as well as half empty, you know. What's extraordinary about the human spirit is that - against all the odds - it can rarely be dejected for long. Restless curiosity, resistance, optimism, delight, happiness even - all these things bubble up unstoppably in the end - despite the heavy rocks life tries to place over the source-spring.
I've had a bad time of late, a time fraught with weakness, hesitation, conflict, betrayal, distrust, guilt - all the human frailties and difficulties. I'm sure it's much the same for many of us. Today is the start of a New Year. I hope it may also be the start of a New Life.
And I've got a lot of hope in this man...