In our lives we divide time into segments to keep track of our comings and goings, to mark our changes. Years, months, weeks, days - in difficult and painful times perhaps hours, even minutes to mark our endurance, to track out efforts, to count down to something we look forward to. It can be a way to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’ve done. All are artificial constructs in a way, yet still useful.
Today, Rosh Hashanah, begins the Jewish New Year 5775. Some gather to eat apples and honey, a symbolicgesture for a sweet year ahead. Much of the
Western world will turn the calendar page to 2015 on December 31. The Chinese Lunar New Year 4713 begins February 19, 2015. Birthdays are our personal new years.
All provide opportunities to pause, to scan the horizon of our pasts hoping to make sense of them, to turn around and scan our imagined futures and in that pause perhaps make adjustments. For me, like many at this particular time in history, pausing has increased value amidst the daily “fire hose of information” and stimuli coming my way. In pausing, taking a breath, stilling myself and getting quiet I can listen inwardly, more deeply, feel my present, my presence, become more clear about what I’ve done, what to do and where to go next.
Regardless of the new year you choose to celebrate, I recommend taking a Sabbath of some kind from the busyness of the world, to wander freely through a segment of time without constraint, to reflect, to stand in the tides of emotion, sensation and thought and simply experience them. And I wish you sweetness in the new year of your choosing.
For those of you who celebrate this beginning of a new year, I say L‘Shanah Tovah - have a good year.