New Year’s Day (2024)

Why must the moments go by in such haste?
Don’t wait too long
Winter is coming, we’ve no time to waste
Don’t wait too long

Don’t Wait Too Long
Songwriters: Jesse Harris / Larry Klein / Madeline Peyroux

There has to have been a moment, say fifty years ago or more, when it was outrageous to have conjectured welcoming the year 2024. The more plausible agenda promoted the use of every living moment before time runs out. Further it would have seemed beyond imagination that one such as I (hedonist and impulsive) might be alive to witness all that was to transpire, to espy how technology would change the world and to glimpse how different it all would be into the next millennium.

And yet. Here we are. The year 2024 has miraculously dawned; and magnificent it is from my perspective!  Okay, the world isn’t flawless, nor have I the ability to walk about as I may once have done. I can’t recall the last time I lifted weights or cycled 50 miles or stayed up late cavorting. By contrast neither can I recall the last time I drank a drop of alcohol or smoked a panatela. And certainly matters naughty or lickerish are downright beyond the pale.

Yes, things have changed all right. It may indeed be a vastly different world from the one I laughingly predicted (or may even hoped) I would never see.  But somehow I am here to endure the privilege.  Once again we all are talking about our health and the weather as though it were only moments ago since we last entertained the unlikely possibility of that upon which we now surrender our votive expansion.

From the moment of awakening today the vista before my eyes has translated from a rueful image to one coloured with the faint blue of a winter’s day as though nothing whatever had happened to alter life’s impeccability. As a New Year’s Day ceremony we treated ourselves this morning to a superlative breakfast of scrambled eggs and lox. It is a dish I have treasured since discovering Jewish delis in Montréal and Toronto as a young man.

And now we soothe ourselves to muse upon the future; to look idly upon the placid, shiny river; to imagine the impending growth upon the meadow and the fields beyond; to reflect upon the burgeoning changes within those whom we know and love; to chance a glimmer of what is at hand. To ask, has it really happened? Can we wait any longer?