I strongly believe that a thousand years from now, when the anthropologists of future civilizations study our society, they’ll consider New Years more important than Christmas.
But just right now, when the clock struck twelve, I found myself alone:
my wife was asleep, my three daughters were asleep, my son was off at a friend’s birthday party…
I decided to brave the -18-degree windchill and venture outside.
There was nothing.
We live in one of the rare winterized houses at a beach community in Massachusetts.
We have no neighbors.
I ran out to the beach, which is several miles long. The sand was frozen and hard beneath my feet. The waves even were constrained by icy froth.
Way down at the north end, among the blistering air, cheap fireworks could be seen not living up to their potential. Dogs barked in the distance.
There was not a physical soul in sight.
That’s when I realized: this house, this year, 2013, was for serious things…
…Americans are accustomed to consider New Years a party event, like mardi gras: let it all hang out one last time before promising yourself to do things a bit different going forward…
I guess I was lucky enough to live in Japan for five years, where New Years is a family holiday: Japanese people go to the local shrine, pray to the Shinto gods, and just take time off from work.
I think that’s a better way to end one year and go into the next than getting obliterated and lying to yourself.