Welcome, New Year


Dear New Year,

I want to welcome you, but I’m also feeling some trepidation about what you’ll be bringing with you. Could you let us know what particular baggage you’ll have along with you? If we can’t accommodate some of it, I may ask you to please not include it.

We are trying to live a simple life here, and a lot of the time, things feel nicely in balance. But that balance is a bit delicate, and life is easily gotten out of whack.

I’d prefer you not to bring any major calamities — either personal or national, or worldwide. What if, for just one year, you left behind all major and minor extermination of my or any other species? What if you just brought whatever would nourish us and make us into the best and fullest expressions of what we could be? Wouldn’t that be satisfying to you? A year of peace, a year of enough to eat, a year in which no one is without a roof overhead and a bed to sleep in (or equal shelter) — for starters.

Maybe then we could get our feet back on the ground and remember our better selves — the ones who know how to accommodate the many different ways of living in this world that don’t harm others, who nurture and support the whole, who live lightly on the earth. Maybe “normal” could be reset to be something that works for more of the whole planet, something sustainable. If we could elevate daily life to somewhere higher on the fear-to-joy scale, that would be good, and make everything work better.

In any case, we know you’ll be arriving on the first, so we’ll do our best to prepare for you with the usual fanfare. There will be some fireworks and champagne-bottle popping. Here at our humble home, we’ll try to tidy the place and make your bed up. The sheets should be clean, but don’t expect the whole place to be clean. We have a lot of baggage left from past years, and so little room in which to put it. Please, try to keep it simple.

Since you’ll be staying awhile, don’t expect me to be glad to see you every morning. I’ll do my best to be welcoming, and to remember that without you, there would be nothing — and certainly no chance for change. And for your part, please, put on your best face and be a Happy New Year for us.

Yours truly,