Monday, December 31, 2012
Today is the last day of 2012.
Today is the day I wax reflective and somewhat retrospective concerning the twelvemonth immediately past. It’s a perfectly logical time to do so, those last few hours before the last digit on the annometer ticks over from 2 to 3.
As happens every year, people were born, people lived, and people died. Some were famous, some had accomplished great things in their lives, and some were completely nondescript... except to the people who knew and loved them. And some - all too many, really - lost their lives in senseless, stupid ways. There is always evil in the world, and it makes itself evident in ever more horrifying manners, adding new words to the lexicon of pain and grief. Aurora. Newtown.
Twenty-twelve was the year of Superstorm Sandy, the monster hurricane that pummeled the Northeast and laid waste to huge stretches of the New Jersey shore and the New York area... another reminder of human frailty when confronted with the immensity of Nature’s power.
This was the year Hakuna, our seventeen-plus-year-old cat, departed this world to join her sister Matata on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. She had a long, happy life, Hakuna did, and after Matata’s passing four years ago, she enjoyed her status as sole uncontested Mistress of the Manor. We had not planned on bringing a new Animal Companion into our lives quite so soon, but young Levon practically dropped into our laps Thanksgiving week: So much for plans.
This was the year the Missus and I celebrated our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary... and we did it in style, treating ourselves to the trip of a lifetime: a two-week jaunt to Israel. It was a remarkable experience, one that left us changed in a myriad subtle ways. And now that She Who Must Be obeyed has seen that she can survive the transatlantic flights and the long bus rides, perhaps other international travel plans can be added to our Life Agenda. Hooray!
This was the year I turned sixty. There’s nothing quite like entering a new Decade o’ Earthly Existence to remind you of just how long you’ve been marching around the planet. Happily, at sixty, I am fortunate enough to be reasonably healthy (keyn ayin hara!) and in halfway decent physical shape. Those are great and good things, yet they are never guaranteed, and they always come with an expiration date. If nothing else, 2012 was a year during which I was more conscious than ever of the everyday blessings of life... for I have seen just how ephemeral they can be. It is thus incumbent upon us to enjoy them while we can.
Given that you are reading this post, the Mayan Apocalypse appears to have been a bust... which means we will have an opportunity to ride this planet around the Sun yet another time. May we all be able to ride it together, and may the coming year bring you, my Esteemed Reader, health, happiness, love, safety, and success in all your worthy endeavors, without limit to any good thing.