- a collection of essays on Neodruidic Studies
- a journal of Post-Reconstructionist Neopaganism

Saturday, December 31, 2011

And so turns the year - Listen !

The scene is a familiar one: it's New Year's Eve; a party, perhaps at your home or perhaps at a friend's. There are many friends there, old and new, as well as many faces you don't recognize. The time is drawing close to midnight; the television is on and the traditional sounds and images capture the attention of your little gathering... Times Square, New York City is a surging sea of people. A stream of numbers tumble across the screen, peeling off the last minutes and seconds of the old year. On the screen, the passions of the crowd grow stronger, the excitement is infectious and obviously affecting your companions. Most of the people around you are now transfixed by the inane but indisputably powerful imagery pouring out of the television. A few of your neighbors forcibly break free from their trance to check their watches; you notice and perhaps you are compelled to check your own. The world plummets onward through the last remaining seconds while, on the screen, the crowd now whipped to an ecstatic frenzy, joyously roars in celebration of a simple ball sliding down a pole.

Usually at this point, I've already run out to the front porch or into the front yard. I've done this for virtually as long as I can remember; for this is certainly the most magical moment of the year. For a brief minute or two a whole time-zone of people, from Canada all the way down through South America, are locked in synchrony! The combined emotional / psychic power of tens, no, hundreds of millions of people celebrating the same moment in much the same way, experiencing much the same sentiments - - Well, the concept has always just staggered me. The front yard? Oh yes... You see, standing outside, away from those interior components of the moment, one can experience the most exquisite thing...   

you can hear the year turn !

There are always plenty of early-birds who start during the actual count-down, so at first you can hear its approach. Distant and occasional, then closer and more persistent it comes. Shouts, fireworks and gun-blasts, and all around you comes the glorious clattering Old World echoes of the beating of pots and pans, car horns and more shouts... Eventually the peak of the tumult passes over and then a few more fireworks and the occasional gun-blast and maybe a last distant car-horn. You can almost see Him (I swear I have...), the great Old Man, striding from east to west across the sky, stopping halfway to shake hands with Orion, then hobbling onward to finally fade and disappear into the western stars. And, as we finally lose sight of Him, there arises from all directions the half heard whisper of a million storm-doors slamming themselves shut... and perhaps, the one final closing we perceive before the shutting of our own door is that of the great one - hinged upon the very poles of the sky itself....            
Happy New Year !

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