It has been too long since I last saw my god-daughter, and I marvel at the change in her. Now fifteen, she has grown tall and slender and more beautiful than I'd ever imagined. She is poised in a new haircut and matching attitude - cynical and sarcastic, challenging all to try and harm her. Because she is so brave.
But she is also fragile with crystalline skin so thin her kind and incandescent heart shines right through. So easily broken. I want to place her under glass like a fine work of art, untouchable.
But her life and all its splendor lie before her; undulating hills of green lit with golden sun stretch to the horizon. A satin ribbon unfurls before her, waiting to lead her through abounding joys and uncounted wonders.
The clock strikes midnight and I go to her and kiss her soft cheek.
Happy New Year Anna. A whole world awaits you.