New Year’s Eve 2013 — A Reflection

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So it’s New Year’s Eve, 2013. We had a number of neighborhood friends and relatives visiting us. They are running in and out, as is appropriate . . . and welcome!

I was, for a while, in the corner esconced in the dark, thoroughly enjoying the moment and watching them running back and forth.

The opportunity was to enjoy the fireworks at midnight as well as to dunk ourselves for either a swim or a hot bath in the spa.

It reminded me of the movie I used to see every single New Year’s Eve for probably the first 20 years of my conscious life, starting at somewhere around 10 years old and certainly at least until I was 30. The movie was called Our Town, written by the famous playwright, Thornton Wilder, and staged in Peterborough, New Hampshire (Grover’s Corner in the play), which I had the chance to visit years later.

In the play, as well as in the movie, starring William Holden as George Gibbs, the fundamental theme is how cheaply human beings treat the passage of time and the experiences which we share along the way.

One of the most poignant parts of that play and ultimately the movie, is when the protagonist (George Gibbs) is in the cemetery and has an opportunity to exchange conversations with a whole slew of individuals who he and eventually Emily, his wife who prematurely died, had contact with while they were among the living.  In other words, they were conversing as they listened to the conversations from the deceased.

Without dragging it out, the theme hovers around how wasteful we are, as human beings, with those moments of time which we share, especially recognizing that those moments are so fleeting that we will never have a chance to revisit them again.

I was sitting in the corner — behind a partition — watching our guests going back and forth, knowing that they couldn’t see me and, at the same time, realizing that, unlike Our Town, they were not in another dimension and yet could not see me — it, nonetheless, gave me the impression of what it was like if I had not been there among them in this life.

As I now reach the age of 62 and have an opportunity for a full year before I turn 63, I can’t help but recognize how precious life is and how wasteful are those moments when we kill those special privileges we have the opportunity to experience and live by desecrating time with our anger, resentment, pain, callousness, ridicule, unkindness, or simple irrelevance.

I’ll be going into 2014 not so much with a different perspective, but with a renewed perspective, recognizing that life is too precious to waste, too precious to burn, too precious to squander.

And with a renewed commitment that anything short of a full and complete appreciation for the passage of each and every moment, each and every day, of each and every year. . . with a smile on our face and an open heart for what we have the opportunity to embrace . . . is a day which should possibly not have been gifted to us in the first place.


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