Dansk Folkekalender, 1845
Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is about a little girl who envisions beauty in the light of her last remaining matches as she faces death on New Year’s Eve.
This story of a destitute girl who spends her final moments envisioning life in clarifying beauty begins with a sense of urgent foreboding:
It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year.
When the girl spots a falling star and believes it signifies that someone is dying, readers may wonder if she is aware that the dying person is herself. And when the girl is taken up to heaven in her grandmother’s arms, readers may experience a range of emotions.
This short tale is worth reading as a farewell to 2020. Let us take a cue from a master storyteller and remember that endings always make room for rebirth.
Reader, what are you looking forward to in the new year?