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Thoughts on a New Year

Sunrise
A new day (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2007)

We celebrate tonight the passage from one year to another. It’s a bit misleading, though, this tradition of a new year. Astronomically we passed through the solar transition ten days ago. New fires have been burning a week and a half now. Nevertheless, New Year’s is the tradition we have made for ourselves over the long history of our invented calendar, with only vague reference to astronomic realities.

Which seems apt in this difficult year of distraction, misleading information, and outright lies. We tend to believe stories that agree with our view of reality, regardless of information to the contrary. So tonight we will believe in our tradition of new beginnings, regardless of where our little planet finds itself on its circuit around the sun.

A New Light

The new year celebrates a new light. A lengthening of the days, barely discernible at this point, vanquishes the darkness of winter’s cold. We grasp for hope. We resolve to suffer through the winter, the darkness, the bone-chilling winds. We believe in the promise of a growing light.

The old year has had its challenges. Personally, it began well and now ends even better. Between, though, was a long train of difficulties. And yet, the challenges reveal new realities, offer new perspectives, and encourage new vitality. I now face a new year with clarity.

A New Year’s Wish

Clarity makes hope seem more real. Yes, I remain sad about the meanness and ignorance that dominates American public life, but change begins here. I learn, I grow, and I share. And I wish the same for you— may we always learn, grow, and share, with generosity and kindness for all.

And with kindness, generosity, and resolve to accept the lessons that come our way, the new year will be worth celebrating. ♨

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