By Rev. Amari Magdalena
Tonight, at midnight we pass that imaginary marker in time that we proclaim as a New Year. That is, we in Western cultures with our Gregorian calendar so celebrate. Many others, worldwide, have different calendars to proclaim periods of change. No matter how or where we draw that line in the sands of time, the end of one period and beginning of another can give us renewed hope and dreams of possibilities to be realized.
Though I feel, at times, this is part and parcel of the illusion of Maya, I concurrently observe that any period of deep reflection followed by boundless anticipation of good cannot be all bad. There is a hopeful energetic about our countdown of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 that gives us an adrenaline rush of optimism. And, in a world so often shrouded in fear and doubt, optimism can gather energy to turn this experiment we call life around.
Some of us will write down resolutions of what we wish to ring in with the new period. Others will burn in effigy those things which were experienced as negative in the closing period. Few people in our culture will simply allow this time to go unacknowledged or say ‘ho-hum.’ Something in our human spirit needs these boosts of possibility to become inspired.
As the skies light up tonight, with bursts of glorious light and booms and bangs announce the new, many find inspiration and relief. For those, the in-breath of the new is long and deep. Others may be exclaiming with passion, “It’s Over! Thank God. The year of our discontent is finally put to rest.” Long sighs of relief and deep expiration of breath may follow.
What about the middle though? Between the agony and ecstasy of endings and beginnings are the protracted period of the betweens. I believe that herein lies the richness of our lives; the minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, week to week, moon to moon, month to month experiences of our allotted time on Earth. It is here that we choose heaven or hell. This is the space in which we practice our attitudes of gratitude, prepare to receive, affirm for the greater good, etc. This is the place that occupies 99% of our experience here. Why wouldn’t we want to celebrate it more consistently and consciously?
Many tribal people know about the good of the betweens. They rise each day bowing to the returning light and end each day in prayerful and humble thanks knowing that the gift of light will return. These people understand the fragility of each day. They choose to be in the present moment within the field of all possibilities. They spread their acknowledgement and appreciation throughout the moon and sun cycles. For many of them, their language is only present tense-not past nor future-simply stated in the Now. They understand the pre-sent; the gift being offered.
Let us remember than as we shout “Happy New Year” today and tonight, that each day can be a happy occasion to shout and acknowledge this amazing human experience. Let us keep hope alive in our hearts for 365 days and see what wonderful changes and miracles abound all year ‘round.
"Beginnings are scary; Endings are usually sad; but it's the middle that counts
You need to remember that when you find yourself at the Beginning.
Just give Hope a Chance to Float Up; and it Will!"
From the Movie, “Hope Floats.
[53 Past Blogs are in my book "Shaman Talk" available in softcover and ebook on Amazon.com]