Hard to believe that another year is almost over. As I watched the last sunset of 2017 at 4:13 this afternoon, I was a little all over the place. So much has changed and yet so much is still the same. I’m checking the news regularly to see what’s happening in Iran as a couple I’m very fond of are there right now and I’m worried. But then I tell myself that nowhere in the world is any safer. At least there, the angst is visible, on the street, more honest somehow.
We were walking the island, watching the fishermen wade into the Kis-Balaton looking perhaps for tonight’s supper. We’d left a roast in the oven and were looking forward to dining well later this evening. Earlier today, Maria Popova’s weekly mailing had popped into my mail box and once again, Walt Whitman got more than an honorable mention. [Brainpickings is an excellent website, worth checking out, especially if you’re resolving to broaden your horizons in 2018.] This time, it was in connection with expectations. According to Whitman:
The trick is, I find, to tone your wants and tastes low down enough, and make much of negatives, and of mere daylight and the skies.
The mere daylight and the skies had stuck with me, and as I watched the sun go down in all its glory, I gave thanks, for the millionth and one time, that happenstance had introduced me to Zala Megye and afforded the opportunity to step off the rat-race and be still.
Because, as Whitman said:
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons — the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.
As we prepare to do the local version of doorstepping, I’m grateful that tomorrow, a new year begins, another chapter in a story that is replete with supportive family, great friends, fine wine, good books, and the wherewithal to travel. What more could a body ask for.
Wishing you and yours a happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.