Well, here we are…the first day of the first month of a brand new year. Are you excited? Apprehensive? Or simply indifferent to the whole business of having just embarked again on the great circular journey?
After all, if it weren't for calendars, almanacs, and all the media hoopla, none of us could tell any difference between yesterday and today. Nature doesn't give anything away by celebrating. The raccoons and owls don't spend the evening together drinking excessively. Squirrels never ring bells or toot on noisemakers. Cats don't blow their car horns, nor do police dogs wail sirens. Possums, thank God, never mess with fireworks or firearms. And though you might think otherwise, rabbits aren't prone to kissing any stranger they can latch onto come the stroke of midnight.
Nope, that's just purely human behavior. We are the party animals.
Some of us. Others—after a low-key but delicious late supper of shrimp sautéed in olive oil with garlic, scallions, salt and a few flakes of red pepper, plus some excellent blue cheeses, toast squares, clementines, and mint chocolate chip ice cream—fall asleep on the couch or sitting in the rocking chair before the fire, and barely awaken in time to stumble out onto the deck and stand wrapped in blankets, listening to all the firecrackers, gunfire, and small ordinance explosives the neighbors are setting off.
It was clear and mild here on the riverbank when the new year arrived. Stars glittered in the darkness and a waxing moon dangled above the western horizon. This morning it is bright-cloudy and, currently, 48˚F (8.8˚C)—though the temperature is supposed to start dropping by afternoon and the prognosticators claim the possibility of snow flurries throughout the next few days. Maybe winter is going to start acting and looking more like winter.
I would like to wish each and every one a happy New Year! May the coming year be one of health, happiness, prosperity and peace…and may at least a few of your wishes and desires come true.