Friday, January 1, 2010


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

--Charles Dickens

Ten years ago, I was asleep in bed, but I would have certainly stayed up until midnight watching replays of the ball drop in NYC on a news station and gulping sparkling cider to match my parents cheap wine as we celebrated—in our muted fashion—the new year and the new millennium. We probably laughed and joked as others breathed sizes of relief that the whole Y2K thing had been blown horribly out of proportion. There was no apocalypse, no world collapse, and no need for stockpiles of bottled water and canned goods, despite many widespread dire predictions to the contrary. It was a fairly exciting time for a nine-year-old, full of promise and anticipation.

One year ago, I was climbing a tree, seized by one of my insane impulses (and wasn’t I just complaining that my life lacks spontaneity?!), nearly oblivious to the bitter cold as I cavorted about in the chilly windy pasture in nothing but my pajamas and a pair of muck boots.

It’s even colder now, and it would be foolhardy to attempt a repeat of that stunt. This despite a magnificent full moon and a clear sky. Everything, as Jonathan Safran Foer says, is illuminated.

Supertramp was on the radio on my drive back from town at 10 this evening, urging me to take the long way home. So I did, wishing I could cut the headlights and drive only by the soft aura of pale blue moonlight. There were a couple of deer in the road, a pair of does, one on each side. I stopped and they sailed over the barbed wire fence only to wait patiently just on the other side for me to leave so they could resume their nocturnal browsing. In a halo of wooded moonbeams they were still clearly visible.

And 2009. It’s over. Just like that—a tick of the second hand, and the powers that be (the ones who set our clocks and number our years and govern our concept of time) declare a new decade.

This year, as referenced in the opening snippet of Dickens, has been a turbulent one. How optimistic I was, perched in the boughs of a dormant persimmon, surveying my infinite prospects! So much has changed, so many tragedies, such lovelorn pining, such pain and failure and sorrow and futility. But on the other hand, glimmers of hope, small successes that built upon one another, the building of a solid foundation, the branching of strong support and friendship, a strengthening of resolve and willpower.

This doesn’t feel like a transition, but I’m hoping it is. Here’s to a change in the winds of fortune, to self-made success, to happiness, to friendship, to goodwill, to peace, to harmony and camaraderie, to blessings and goodness and a better life for all.

I’ll drink to that….care to join me?

1 comment:

secret agent woman said...

I will. (Because it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?) clink