New Year's Day seems at the surface to be a superficial reason to have a holiday. After all, what's to celebrate about the turning of the calendar, which after all is just one more turn in the endless wheel of time?
But there is something different about this day, something contemplative and mystical. It is a time for inevitably looking back at the previous year, analyzing its successes and downfalls. But it is also a clean slate, a time for looking ahead, a time for realizing that every day is a new one full of hope. Perhaps this feeling is also brought on by the as-yet subtle but increasing amount of daylight. We have been under cover of clouds for way too long, so the increasing light is not noticeable, but maybe it's the idea that counts.
It was in this spirit that I celebrated "out with the old, in with the new". The family celebration reflected this. The loss of my mother was the major event of the old year, but time is passing and we are healing. Our belated Christmas was certainly more festive than Thanksgiving. My dad even laughed and joked about the thoughtful gift of new bath towels that my brother and sister in law gave. I remember every single towel in that house; Mom would never throw any one of them away, nor splurge on new ones. There is memory, and there is life that goes on.
I don't make a habit of making resolutions, but a few "revelations" came to me on this turning point. Simply stated, they are:
In the coming year, I want to:
1. Live a more joyful life. Appreciate the joy there is every day, while not wasting time on every negative thing that happens. Find ways to reduce the feeling of living day to day drudgery.
2. Do things that really make me happy. I won't elaborate too much, but in the past I have made way too many excuses why this has not been done as much as it should.
3. Be more adventurous. Beyond, that is, the daily adventure that is living with three vivacious children. I want to go cross country skiing, canoeing, traveling, exploring, camping. That we did not use the tent once during 2005 was a tragedy.
2006 was certainly brought in joyfully, in the company of friends that are THE BEST gift of 2005. We shared good food, some music, laughter, and conversation as the kids got a chance to "run wild". Calvin and Starflower ended up spending the night with their friends, while The Hermit and I went home with Mr. Attitude to tend the home fire, but we returned in the morning to collect offspring and once more share in a relaxed meal and conversation. A wonderful time was had by all; we were almost sad to see it end. On the way home we kept scanning the bare trees, hoping to perhaps see a great gray owl. In the days of winter, we miss their presence that was a joy starting about this time last year.