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The Passing Year

Never has a year been so anticipated as 2010, chasing out the gloomy dreariness that was 2009. Usually spending New Year's on an airplane, I was delighted to spend it instead with new and old friends bursting out of our front door, glasses to the cloudy Seattle sky, yelling "The year is dead! Long live the New Year!"

Simon Winchester recently wrote a piece praising the practice of soberly and sincerely celebrating New Year's by waking early, sitting down to eat, and greeting the sun. This looks commendable. In fact, I will put that on the To Do list for the next New Year's Day. It is not, however, what we did this year. And I'm not sorry at all.

There are great things ahead this year: the longer hours of sunlight, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (just up the road), the Soccer World Cup in South Africa (can they put it on?), camping trips, weddings, and exciting, expensive adventures overseas.

So here's to this gladsome year - may it fulfill all the possibilities it promises.

Here's a poem by e.e. cumming to celebrate what has gone before:

The world outside is dark; my fire burns low;
All's quiet, save the ticking of the clock
And rustling of the ruddy coals, that flock
Together, hot and red, to gleam and glow.
The sad old year is near his overthrow,
And all the world is waiting for the shock
That frees the new year from his dungeon lock. -
So the tense earth lies waiting in her snow.

Old year, I grieve that we should part so soon,-
The coals burn dully in the wavering light;
All sounds of joy to me seem out of tune,-
The tying embers creep from red to white,
They die. Clocks strike. Up leaps the great, glad moon!
Out peal the bells! Old year, -dear year,-good night!

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