January is named for the Roman God Janus. He is the keeper of gates and doorways. He is of time and its cycle, which includes beginnings and endings.
Maybe you’ve seen a bust of him, perhaps a fresco. He is depicted with two faces, and each stare in the opposite direction. Past and future. I’ve been thinking about this lately. Why the attentiveness? Why the vigilance?
I’ve been in the habit of letting go and not looking back. But the image of Janus, and the pulse of my own life has made me reconsider this. We scrutinize the past while we examine the future. By looking behind, we can clearly view the road upon which we have traveled, evaluate our route from a new perspective, and hopefully take lessons from those experiences. By looking beyond, we may remember those lessons and apply them as we pass over this kind of rock, take that kind of turn.
By glancing behind, and gazing beyond we may live with intention and purpose.