I am always amazed to think that New Years is one of the most celebrated holidays across the world, when truly, it has almost no real ties to anything. It’s basically a day, sort of close to the solstice, that we all decided: let’s do this.
I just did a little looking into the history of New Year’s Day, and it looks like either Julius Caesar set aside January 1st to celebrate Janus, the god of gates, doors and beginnings, in 46 BC, or January 1st was the day the annual consuls came into office, starting in 153 BC. You know – something like that.
Either way, I think there’s something really wonderful about the essentially arbitrary nature of such a celebrated holiday. To me, it’s a reminder that every day only has the significance we choose to give to it. Every day is a new day, and every awakening a new chance to embrace the world however we choose, however our hearts feel ready to do so.
Tonight is a night we get to celebrate that fact with family and friends close at hand, and millions of others in a rippling celebration across the world. I love realizing that my friends in Sydney have already celebrated the arrival of their New Year, and that the wake of that 12 o’clock tolling is slowly making its way across Europe, over the Atlantic, until eventually hitting the coast of Maine in a couple of hours. And of course, after I have seen the clock roll past 12, I know it will be 3 more hours before those I am close to on the West coast welcome their New Year.
Time is a funny thing like that. It helps to remind me that, even though there may be time and distance sitting between us, there are things that continue to bring us together. Be it celebrations, or the rhythms of sleep and dreaming, or simply thoughts, I like to think that these things, like the momentum of a “new” year, are carried across oceans, mountains and more, keeping us connected and close. Tonight, I am attaching my love and hopes for newness to that Westward-tending wave of the new year, and preparing to dive headfirst into my own, as I get ready to fly to Israel in a few days.
My hopes and aspirations for the New Year are as follows: first, I am thinking it is time I re-embrace the “ish”-ness of this blog, and rein in these long locks – truly, I have gone beyond my long(ish) aspirations, and am looking forward to feeling the wind once again running beside my ears (nothing too crazy though ;). Second – I am hoping that I can truly welcome whatever the new year brings with an open heart: that I will have the courage to embrace the unexpected, the unknowable, and whatever truth my heart reveals. I hope for the clarity to see what needs seeing, the faith to do what needs doing, and the humility to laugh as it all unfolds. Third: I am finally going to post my permaculture song. Tomorrow.
Raising a glass to continued newness, adventure, and affection,