...This Year and Last
The older I get the less I understand the New Year's holiday.
I understand it as a reason for people to party and get trashed. It give us a framework for organizing our time. It gives the IRS structure for digging into our pockets. But it's the effort and emotion we attach to it that makes me wonder what it's all about.
The Earth turns as always, and the sun rises and sets like it did the day (year) before. The troubles we were working on yesterday (last year) are still there for our attention. Bills still must be paid. Wars will continue to be fought. The media all talked about how a decade ended and a new one began. It didn't occur to me that a decade had already been spent. How old are we all, anyway? Well, my back and knees are still hurting, so what really changed?
We awaken with a new numbered year and marvel at how far we came and how quickly it all went by. But when I looked out my window this morning, snow was falling and painting the landscape white just like yesterday. It was quiet in the neighborhood. And cold. It's still winter, this year and last.
So today, the first of the new year, everyone is offering Happy New Year greetings and nursing the hangovers of the previous year, and of last night.
Perhaps that is the meaning. Perhaps the New Year's holiday is its own reward. We'll do it all again next year.
Rick B. Baker
January 1, 2010
© 2010 by R. Burnett Baker