“Everybody’s coming back to take stock of their lives. You know what I say? Leave your livestock alone.”
— Grosse Pointe Blank
One more rotation of a small blue planet on its circuit around a minor yellow star at the edge of an unremarkable galaxy in an accidental universe is flimsy justification for the importance which so many of us put on the turning of the year. But we have agreed to take this day and night as a sign of something larger, something more important than our quotidian lives. It is simple convention, yes, but it is our convention. And who is to say we are wrong?
So raise a glass: To absent friends. To present friends. To family and everyone else we love. To life, and the chance to keep on living it, if only for a little longer (who knows how long). To paths taken, and untaken. To the promise and hope of a new year. To the wishes in your heart. To the hopes of all humankind.
To the words and motions of that ancient toast:
Never above you,
Never below you,
Always beside you,
And forever in your glass.
Happy New Year.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
© 2011 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.