Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year. Happy New Year.

I know I'm not seeing things as they are,
I'm seeing things as I am.

-Laurel Lee

At the end of 2004 my Spouse and I were in Ireland to celebrate the New Year. We were with family in a seaside town renowned for its lively spirit, fresh air and unique brand of welcome.
As the year evaporated before our eyes, we stood on Main Street, at one end of the town on the brow of a hill.
An energetic crowd of a few hundred people counted down the last moments. Old and young, drunk and sober, we all cheered a much-welcomed new year into our lives.
"" We finally made it amid much jostling and whooping.
Two or three minutes passed in a blur; people staggered about congratulating one another as was the normal sequence of events.
We all wondered, some aloud and some internally, whether we would be around to see another ringing in of a new year. Life is like that; one never knows.
Then, from the other side of the hill, from another portion of Main Street, came faint but certain chimes:
"ten...nine...eight..." came the cries.
They were ringing in a new year independently and either unaware or careless of the other revellers.
We experienced two New Year festivities in the space of a few minutes, not by hurrying our way to another time zone but by turning to face the other side of the street. It was charming. It was odd. It was wonderful and we never forgot it.

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