On the last eve of 2013, sunlight sank and sent me home to supper on prime rib, salads, lots of goodies– to think on what to write. For several decades our New Year celebrations were in Las Vegas, then we changed that to staying home just because it became boring to be out when we have such a lovely space where we live. There’s no place like home.
To borrow a concept from Corinthians 13:11, last night I could say I was 2013, I thought as 2013, I spoke as 2013, I understood as 2013, I lived as 2013. But now is the dawn of 2014 and I have put away last year. Now I will henceforth speak in 2014. The language, and experience of 2013 is yesterday, gone forever. Looking at it like that, the year is fleeting (where did the whole year go so quickly?) Gone in a second, and I am, as are we all, faced with this new year, this tabula rasa. Where do I place my feet to not deface this drift of new fallen snow shortly to wear my footsteps? Forget resolutions—transitory things. These are our lives we are talking about. Our todays.
On a new year, it seems that we hold time like water in our hands. However tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But if that water falls on a seed, a seed may grow, and become something. Maybe that’s how we scatter ourselves in time, like the ripplings of a pond, and a scattering of those seedlings we have watered as we lived through the last 365 days.
On this eve, Nasa may be sending New Years Greetings from space to Time Square. I am happy to greet the new year from my home in California. After my most recent adventure in consulting, for one who travels so much, there is nothing to compare with the domestic bliss of home—except maybe the next venture.
I hope to still do my business abroad and keep the home fires flourishing.
I hope this year I always make the better choice.
I hope that I don’t lose sight of what is most important.
I hope I can help more people.
I hope to make more friends around the world.
I hope to do more than just live in my residence.
It is not as if the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, but for me, in my little corner of the world, the choices I make every day feel very important. Next year I hope to make the right choices, facing each bump, and flat and fork in the road with an awareness of everyone else on the path. I do not say goodbye to my good friend 2013 or the years before. Like my grouchy window wipers squeaking in protest, the past is not swept aside like raindrops. It lives in me.
This year I will not think of the year as an infant with a scant year to live. Instead, I will think of the metaphor of the dawn. How the dawn greets us with a fresh face every day, not just once a year. How brilliant is that? I am glad to be here, glad to be with my family and friends. I have worked with you, fought with you, wept with you, loved with you, laughed with you. I am sad for our losses, joyful for our successes. And with the dawn of 2014, I wish us all a bright new dawn of unlimited promise, hope, and maybe peace in the world. As Tiny Tim said last week and every Christmas since Charles Dickens brought him to life on December 19 1843, God bless us, every one.