Reminders

Every so often we each need to be reminded of something greater than ourselves. The benevolence of All That Is constantly nudges us to see and then be the grace of the subtleties that come our way each day. We, however, have to choose to be sensitive enough to notice.

It’s always in the little things that the reminders come to us. A song on the radio that conjures a memory. A fledging birds first encounter with flight. A baby’s infectious laugh. A pet’s greeting when you finally get home, the blast of a fragrant aroma when you first open the door to a flower shop, the lingering descent of snow on a windless winter day, the first taste of a fine wine and the harmonic drift of choir practice as you walk by a church.

It’s the little things that slam into our hearts.

Appreciation is the only response.

2019

We did it! We said goodbye to the old year and welcomed in the new. We’ve been celebrating endings and beginnings since ancient times.

The tradition of New Years Eve celebrations also stems from old beliefs and superstitions. Noise making goes back to the ancient custom of using loud noises to drive evil spirits from a house during the times of festive celebration.

Many nationalities and cultures still use noise to celebrate. America has her ratchet rattles and noisemakers and fireworks.

Denmark smashes in the New year. People go to friends’ houses and throw bits of broken pottery that they have collected throughout the year at the homes. They also bang on the doors to make noise.

The Dutch love to celebrate New Years. It was one of their favorite holidays when they settled New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. When the English took over the city in 1674 and called it New York, the authorities were going to keep to the British custom at the time which called for celebrating the New Year on the Vernal Equinox, March 25th. The Dutch populace so loved the holiday on January 1st. They convinced the British to move their New Year celebration.

Traditions have to start somewhere. The ball dropping tradition at New York’s Times Square began in 1904 when the Times tower was constructed. At the time it was New York City’s 2nd tallest building, rising to a height of 375 feet.

Adolph Ochs, the then young publisher of the New York Times, moved his paper into the new building on New Year’s weekend and decided to celebrate the event with a New Year’s eve rooftop fireworks display.

It was spectacular, but it was dangerous. The following year the fireworks were replaced by the descending brightly-lit ball.

A tradition begun.

The New Year

Some thoughts on this New Year.

Beginnings always have an expectation. Where do we go from here? What happens next?

In 2019 there is hope that tough times for those that have them will end.

The teen decade of the new century is at its end, and we are still searching for global sanity. There are still too many regional wars infecting the planet, and it's people as we struggle with the belief that security is having more.

There is always hope that the litany of Pandora troubles in our politics will transcend into the common good, but let us not forget that hope without action is arrogance. We each have to work at finding harmony in chaos.

Harmony is there; we can feel it when we give from empathy and not reward; when we resolve not to be discouraged, not to speak in anger, not to blame, and not to judge without the truth of looking within first.

Maybe this is the year that unconditional love and appreciation will guide the hearts and wills of humankind.

Maybe!

A Memory

On December 21st, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland. A terrorist bomb murdered two hundred seventy people.

The plane originated in Frankfort, Germany and had one stop in London before heading out across the North Atlantic taking many home for the holidays.

In the many years since this tragedy most people have forgotten it for new disasters, new pain, new terrors, have replaced the Lockerbie incident.

I remember it vividly, not only because I reported on the crash during the nightly news for weeks, but because of one act of sympathy that will always stand out in my heart.

Shortly after the crash, there was a large bouquet of red roses sent to Lockerbie officials. There was a note pinned to the flowers. It said, “To the little girl in the red dress who made my life so enjoyable from Frankfort to London. You didn’t deserve this”.