I sit here, soon after the strike of midnight, awed at the passing of the old year and the birth of a new one. How time segues is appalling, almost mysterious. How father time opens one door and closes another is a wonderment. Year after year, we live with this mystery. As the Auld Lang Syne song goes, we celebrate memories of the past as we look forward to creating new memories with the new year. New dreams float in, fresh hopes arise, anticipation and excitement surge for what might come. But these, without failing to look back and remember all the good, and even the challenges, that have brought us thus far to now.
Just now, I consumed nearly four hours of video chatting with family members in the Philippines. We regaled each other with cheery updates, catching up on tid-bits big and small about happenings of the past weeks or months. And then, dwelling on hopes for the good that the budding year might bring, almost like a wish list, on a grander scale than the wish list of Christmas. One door closes, another opens.
Late last night, I came back with my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott from a week’s vacation at my daughter Joy and son-in-law Matt’s home in Hermosa Beach, California. Christmas with family was splendid. The family times together were peppered with day tours, fancy eat-outs at fabulous restaurants, fantastic meals at home, and spiced with group games majority of which turned out victories for my grandson Eliott. I learned Yahtzee and played it a few times but never won. I learned to roll the dice but never was able to will them to turn up the right numbers. But I thoroughly enjoyed the playful sparring with family members over the twists of luck or no-luck. I felt so refreshed walking the pier at Manhattan Beach extravagantly adorned with lines of multi-colored lights, while listening to the splashing of waves gentler than those of the night before. This long and leisurely walk was so much needed after a hefty fancy dinner at The Strand. That’s how my Christmas week led to the new year.
Dinner right before the new year was a gourmet experience with my sister Susan, brother-in-law Mario, niece Shirley and nephew-in-law Craig. Enjoying a culinary experience in the midst of boisterous cheering of customers watching the college football game on several large TV’s placed strategically in the restaurant would have been a nuisance at other times – but not then, when a festive spirit cheered the room, and a charming conviviality permeated the atmosphere. After all, 2022 ball was soon going to drop to yield to 2023. A frivolous kind of aura was abundantly about.
All those, were part of my Auld Lang Syne, grateful for how the old year ended, while looking forward to new dreams, or the fulfillment of dreams, and more hopes as 2023 unfolds.