. . . and Welcome 2009.
Yesterday afternoon my friend Ginny from Minnesota phoned with a warm message, and then my cousin Ellie called from the east coast as we watched the remaining 40 seconds of the Oregon State vs Pitt Sun bowl game. Oregon State squeaked out a win of 3-0 and now gives the PAC 10 a 4-0 standing thus far.
Later in the evening my brother phoned and emitted his warm and robust tenor... Ha'-ppy, ha'-ppy birth-day ba'-a-by, and we laughed and laughed as we always do. And just moments ago one of my sons from across the country called for wishes of a happy day, a wonderful gift.
Having a birthday on the first day of the year never seemed of much significance as it is today. People sometimes ask, were you the first to be born on that day, to which my reply is always, I don't know, for I was born at home... my grandmother and a nurse helped in that delivery. Then too when I was growing up, we didn't have much money to spend on lots of gifts, and with a birthday so close to Christmas, this one gift is for Christmas and your birthday, seemed okay by me.
That truly has served me well and been a philosophy in which I believe: it doesn't take a store bought present or a whole bunch of gifts to know you are loved or to celebrate a day. I relish not in more stuff that I don't need, but rather in hearing the voice of my family and friends, receiving their emails and cards, and enjoying this day with my husband and being special for one another.
So my wonderful sister called and sang the traditional Happy Birthday to you, and a second son and daughter-in-law called and bellowed a cacophonous rendition of the same, and we laughed and laughed as we always do. These are my gifts, my treasures.
The day is young and we anticipate what is ahead. Our wish is that this New Year be good for you, filled with joy, good health and prosperity and that you focus and savor in that which is important, the love of self, your family and friends.
T.S. Eliot wrote in the Little Gidding:
"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
Happy New Year.