|Now Is the Future|
|Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
I get to celebrate the new year twice each year.
What I love about living in the United States is the diversity. Of course, I am always pushing for more open-mindedness, but that will likely be my eternal quest. Still, everywhere around me I value the wide variety of religious beliefs, racial profiles, sexual orientations and personal convictions. The downside to extreme diversity is that sometimes I have no clue as to what holiday to celebrate… if one views that as a downside. I choose to think of it as a cultural gift. After all, every year I get to celebrate the turn of the year twice.
I celebrate the year's turn with the sunrise following the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. The sun is reborn and a new solar year begins astronomically. This literal new year's beginning I honor with ritual and other conscious acts that mean something to me personally.
I also get to celebrate the year's turn on January 1st, the Gregorian calendar date chosen to signify the new year's beginning. I observe this in the way my culture does, with countdowns, “Auld Lang Syne” and passionate kisses. Part of me wishes I had a calendar of the entire world's holidays to celebrate alongside nature’s cyclical holidays. Surely, somewhere, every day is a holiday. And I, likely the world, can always use another reason to rejoice.
This year, as in many a year, I marked the sun's rebirth by watching it rise the morning after the Winter Solstice. I like to be awake and aware as the new year begins. This ritual provides an important opportunity for reflection and projection, and is just as meaningful if I am alone, but I also deeply appreciate the participation of loved ones.
I also celebrated with the conscious act of a holiday in Napa Valley, where I vacationed with a lover, explored the misty valley paradise of northern California, sipped fermented libations and indulged my senses to their deepest receptivity. And of course, because I am an environmentalist and raw vegan as well as a wine enthusiast, I consciously sought out certified organic, biodynamic and sustainable vineyards. Oh, the education my taste buds and eco-mind have accumulated since my passion for certified wines began. And oh, how I look forward to sharing that knowledge and experience with you in my upcoming writing.
So while the Christmas holiday has seemed to lose its values socially, causing me distress and confusion during the late-December season (see my Christmas Is Trying to Kill Me piece), I have found a successful way to celebrate the turning of the year—twice every year—in my world with rituals and conscious acts that matter to me and to my culture, in all its diversity.
Now it is 2010 and I am not the only person I've heard say this, but “it's the future.” I mean, how many sci-fi films were set in years before this date? This is the time that was supposed to be different. This is the time that everything was going to change. What was the future supposed to mean anyway? What does it actually mean now that we're here? Please let your fellow readers know what you think by commenting below.
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