Friday, December 31, 2010
We humans celebrate endings and beginnings - especially beginnings - by gathering in groups, making a lot of noise, wearing funny hats, eating and drinking. It's just what we do - at birthday parties, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, retirements and at new years, too, of course. At funerals we tend not to wear funny hats or make a lot of noise, but otherwise the ritual is the same.
Today is an ending, tomorrow is a beginning and though there are those who would insist that the calendar is arbitrary, that one day is no different than the next, I must disagree. We make it important, we make it significant, we decide it is not arbitrary and so it isn't. Which is why, on December 31st, we gather in groups, put on funny hats, make a lot of noise, eat and drink.
Tonight at midnight the mouth of the new year will clamp down hard on the tail of 2010, thereby completing the wheel of the year. At midnight on new year's eve you can almost feel the teeth of the new year, you can almost hear the sound of the bite .. or you could if everyone wasn't shouting, blowing horns and such.
Once we've made it through that moment of ending/beginning, we settle down, we kiss each other, hug, wish each other a happy new year. Because that moment between what was and what will be is always a little scary. Moving from endings to beginnings of all stripes is a bit like leaping across an abyss. It's such a relief when that moment passes, oh yeah. We kiss, hug, and then we drink and eat some more.
We humans are truly adorable, and so brave, aren't we, to celebrate the marvels and perils of moving from the old year into the new year again and again? I think so.
Happiest 2011 to all. L'chaim. All good things in the new year, yes? I say yes. Cheers!