Happy New Year
It is a quiet night upstate New York, where I am sequestered
for the Holiday Season. Outside, about 15 inches of freshly
fallen snow blankets the countryside and I spent part of the
afternoon shoveling the car out and creating a path to the
wood we stockpiled at the door when we heard a huge storm
was on its way.
It's been a quiet day and a quiet week up here. The city
seems far away and I am using the time to author a concluding
document for one of my consulting engagements while working
on generating some new ones and continuing work on others.
The year is very much winding down and most people that I
know are generally delighted to see it gone. One friend phoned
today and he will be relieved because the New Year promises
resolution to a long and bitter divorce. Another friend is
yearning for a new beginning, as each of the last two years
she believed that it couldn't get worse but it did. Another
friend is bravely facing the end of a long relationship and
a job, thinking that the universe is speaking to her and there
is a new path to follow.
It is at the end of the year that we take time to evaluate
our lives, wish into the past those things which have hurt
us and allow ourselves to hunger for things to bring us joy.
It is a time for contemplation, for reflection and hope.
The fact that a major snow storm was barreling down on us
escaped me because I wasn't checking the news on Christmas.
I wanted the quiet, the Christmas Carols, the spirit of the
season to surround me - and it did. In a quiet way that was
not, at all, momentous but no less profound.
Going into this New Year, I know I am fortunate. I sit here,
writing this column, which continues to give me joy, causing
me to be disciplined in writing while giving me an opportunity
to shape my thoughts and feelings into words with the hope
and sense that someone out there is reading them.
I live with someone who loves me and who is constant in my
life and who gave me thoughtful presents that he knew I would
love and we gave each other things we could use together.
He likes cosmos with shaved ice; I received an ice crusher
after having failed to find one on several expeditions. He
likes to fall asleep to a sound machine; I got him a better
one for here in the country. And so on
It is fortunate to be with someone who wants to give you
what you want. I wish that for all of you this year. I wish
for everyone to have quiet nights in front of your fires with
fresh snow outside or whatever your equivalent is - a night
camping under the stars, a moment listening to the person
you love most breathe as they sleep while you lay beside him
or her with a small smile on your face, savoring the peace
and joy of the moment.
Many of my friends have had really difficult years.
One of my friends was going through a tough job patch and
we were on the phone when her daughter walked in with that
day's painting and as she looked at it, she said to me, "It
doesn't get much better than this." Because "this"
is what the real center of our lives is about, the people
we live with and love.
So, sitting here by the fire with Billie Holiday singing,
I savor this quiet time which is damn near perfect and I want,
passionately, for all of us to have moments that are damn
near perfect and have the good, great sense to stop and love
Happy New Year