6 January …
Ready for another year ?
Blessings to all on Epiphany … the Twelfth Day of Christmas … the day the Wise Men finally found their way to the manger … the day “my” house overflowed with birds and trees and dancing Lords and milking maids and jewelry and who knows what else …
On Facebook, a friend in Hawai’i has been posting a variation of the song. Each day he wrote “On the –th day of Christmas …” and leaves the rest for his followers/friends to complete. The answers have been varied. Some carried on with the original theme. Others posted wishes. Others joked.
Guess what I did.
I have been thinking about the source of the “New Year” and the word “calendar” …
One story is that since, in the very first year of his life, Adam had no way of knowing the cyclical seasonal changes that occur in the lengths of the days (although Eden is supposedly in the Middle East where day lengths don’t vary that much). Adam became very disturbed when the first winter began to approach and he saw that the days were getting shorter and the nights longer. He began to fear that the day was being consumed by a cosmic serpent, and that the pattern would persist indefinitely until daylight disappeared altogether.
This dread continued to trouble Adam until the arrival of the winter solstice when the pattern began to reverse itself and the days began to lengthen. At this point, Adam exclaimed “Kalon dio“, a Greek phrase which has been construed by assorted modern scholars as meaning, “Praise be to God,” or “Beautiful day.”
From that day onward, the winter holiday has been observed by Adam’s descendants, though the original reason may have been garbled in the transmission (and the assumption that Adam spoke Greek).
… and another though in re time …
Most “westerners” see time as having the past behind them and the future ahead. Some natives peoples see it the other way … with the future behind and the past in front.
One group puts the past behind since they understand it as something unchangeable and site the future open before them. The other puts the future where they can’t yet see their way into it and the past where they can study and learn from it.
On New Year’s Day I spent time thinking about this. It would seem the basic difference is in the way people think about their place in the world.
Westerners tend to see themselves as actively moving through time while others see themselves as in the “now” with time moving around them. One is concentrated on “control” in order to shape the future. The other focuses on “acceptance” and “learning” in order to adapt the future.
… and still another thought …
The source of the name of the first month offers a bit of insight. As a two-faced deity, Janus was believed to look simultaneously at the past and at the future. Hence he was selected as the appropriate god for the new year. The lesson in that choice of name would seem to be that each is important and worthy of attention.
The lessons might be interpreted as …
Don’t ignore the past and spend all your energy trying to completely control the future.
Don’t spend all your time studying the past while facing the future passively.
Instead … Pay attention to the past, carry forward the knowledge of the results of decisions made, and use that knowledge to make better decisions and manifest a better future.
Every year we have a “DISASTER” at New Year’s. It’s like clockwork. We can count on it. The well pump fails, the hydro gets plugged, the cow has trouble delivering in the middle of a blizzard, the roof develops a leak, etc. etc. etc.
This year it was the internet. The modem provided by our ISP appeared to die sometime the evening of the 30th. I had checked the mail and Facebook around 1700 and all was normal, but by the time I did a last check for the day, on my way to bed, the service was gone. It was still gone the morning of the 31st.
When he checked with the server, George was told (after running some checks as directed by the service rep) the problem was indeed the modem and not something with the outdoor equipment (and if that tech talk is incorrect … oh well …).
It was necessary to send the needed part to the repair service in our area and it wouldn’t arrive until the 2nd. The repair company doesn’t work on sundays, so the earliest we could get our service back was monday the 4th. But service resumed without any interference and the tech call was cancelled.
It is interesting how much use we make of a (for us) new technology. It was also interesting to see how easy it was for us to get along without it although it did return intermittently for short periods of time.
It was not so easy for family and friends who use the net to keep an eye on us.
The situation is resolved until next time. All is back to normal.
The snow pack, both to the north, in the Sierras, and on the Mountain is above 100% … 130% to the east and 170% to the north. The cloak on the Mountain is good. Mt Shasta City got about a foot of new snow yesterday and it is snowing this morning. We are grateful for what we have.
Another blessing of this snow is that it is melting slowly from the bottom. That means the water is going into the earth and hence to the water table rather than running off down the creeks to the Shasta River to the Klamath River and on to the sea.
This morning it is snowing pretty heavy (even if you can’t see the flakes in the picture) and has been since before dawn. Mt Shasta City is supposed to get a foot or so. That means we may be in for two feet or more. The 7-11 is doing well and the wood supply is good.
There are at least two more months of winter. We’ll see what they bring.
The young couple from up the road were to be here for dinner on the 1st. They are much like us in that they don’t feel the need to go out EVERY day (as some of the other neighbors do whether or not they have to work). Consequently, we see them at intervals rather than all the time. That makes the times when we do get together enjoyable with a lot to share.
But they weren’t able to be here. He had injured his knee a few months ago and it isn’t healing as expected so driving is difficult and snowshoeing is out of the question.
George and I spent the day snugged in … alone together.
It was a good day. Being without guests left it open for us to watch the new “Sherlock” without being rude.
Seeing the current Holmes and Watson in the 19th century after watching them in the 21st was great fun. The actors must have spent time watching the Brett era films because they were on character.
I was never a fan of Rathbone and Bruce but was captured by Brett and Hardwicke.
The current presentations are running nearly neck and neck with the Brett interpretation, so watching Cumberbatch and Freeman in the 19th century was a treat (even though the time switches had George a bit confused).
Now we can look forward to the next in the “Sherlock” series due in the US this spring.
And while I’m talking about television … we’re into the last season of Downton Abbey. Will Lord Grantham slowly back out of running the estate now that he has acknowledged Mary’s capabilities? Will Lady Mary give up her position as top dog at the Abbey by marrying again? Will Lady Edith find happiness? Will the Dowager Countess live into her 100s? Will Tom bring Sibby back to Downton? Will Carson and Hughes really marry and retire? Will the Bates’ be able to settle down in peace and will there be children? What is in store for Barrow and Daisy and Mosely and Mrs. Patmore and the servants at the Dower House?
The montage published by Masterpiece to say “Happy New Year” raised some questions. Notable by their absence were Lady Mary, Anna Bates, Marigold, Barrow, and Daisy. Interesting …
So many questions.
I anticipate there won’t be a “wrap-up” but rather we will back out of the main hall leaving them around the 1925 Christmas tree, the main door will close and we will no longer have a way to peep into their lives. It reminds me of the final episode of “Northern Exposure” when the day just ended and the door shut.
… Life went/goes on.
Our new daughter-in-law had a birthday last sunday.
Happy Day, Kamille. We hope you enjoyed the serenade. Maybe sometime we’ll be able to join the celebration.
We’ve had a few REALLY cold days. Not as cold as over in Klamath County, but cold enough. Nighttime temperatures got down as low as 10° and one morning the temp in the solarium was 33°, the lowest we can remember it being.
George and I have adjusted our outdoor chores. Since he bundles up to go out to care for the cats in the morning, he now also does the chickens. No sense both of us doing the “add layers” thing.
I still collect eggs and bring in the waterer in the evening. Gives me a chance to keep up the dialog with the ladies.
To begin the new year …
Friedrich Nietzsche put it well when he said …
“If you have a ‘why’ to live, you can bear with any ‘how’.”
Just remember to at least once a day give someone a full smile.
So, ’til next week …