Posted by: jevcat | December 30, 2014

New Year, 2015

Maine Iced Over

New life, new creation,

alive our sense of wonder;

the time has come to be reborn;

the kingdom is right here,

the kingdom is right here.

New Life, New Creation, ©Benedictine Foundation of New Hampshire (Monks of Weston Priory)

 

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions – I don’t believe in them. But I love celebrating the start of a new year, and I am perfectly delighted to celebrate anyone’s new year, whenever it comes: Jewish New Year at Rosh Hashanah, the Celtic New Year at Samhain (aka Halloween), or any other New Year I hear about.

That wise old 13th century mystic (what was it about the 13th century and mystics, anyway?), Meister Eckhart said, “We are all mothers of God, . . . for God is always needing to be born,” which is a great Christmas season quote, and I appreciate the thought from his theological point of view, but from mine, it’s me that’s always needing to be born – or rather, re-born. Which is why I love celebrating new years, over and over, as often as possible – who would not want a fresh start, a “do-over,” a chance to begin again?

God knows, I manage to screw things up often enough. At the ripe old age of 60, you’d think I’d’ve got it right by now, or at least be well on the way, but that does not seem to be the case. It’s not that I don’t learn from my mistakes, it’s just that learning from my mistakes does not seem to keep me from making them again, and, even when it does, I am perfectly capable of finding wonderful new ways to botch things up, to the extent that it’s sometimes hard to remember that I do – hopefully more than occasionally – actually get a lot of things right, as well.

While I recognize that “every day is a new beginning,” often it just feels like more of the same. Dawn happens every day, and becomes too familiar to register. I wind up just slogging on, forgetting that fresh starts and new pathways are there for the taking – or if necessary, making – and that I am not bound to old ideas and well-trodden paths by more than custom, or custom and fear. And fear can be overcome, ignored, or, if you’re me, more often bargained with.

So I just perk right up when I hear of some culture with a different new year than the ones I’ve known about previously, both because I always love finding excuses – I mean reasons – to celebrate, and because, well, I just like to celebrate.

Now here we are, almost at what most of our culture considers the official New Year’s Day, and we can all keep each other company, which does make new things less frightening and somehow easier: I’m hoping I (and we) can take a deep breath, step forward – and celebrate!

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

– Meister Eckhart (full disclosure: I’m not absolutely convinced this is really a quote from Eckhart; although it’s attributed to him everywhere, I can’t find an actual citation. But I like it.)

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Responses

  1. Dearest Janet – Thank you for the gift of your writing. You made my day. Sending lots of love your way. Happy New Year!

    • You’re welcome — and same to you all.


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