Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To better days

I hope you all have a New Year's Eve full of friends and frolic. I'll see once again if I can make it to Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve. A friend of ours, the daughter person went to school with her, is back in Minnesota from Indonesia. She may be experiencing the world's definitive climate shock. The way this young woman has been living her life reminds me of a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He once wrote "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Trail through the field
Trail through the field             © harrington

That kind of thinking, and writing, makes me proud to claim Mr. Emerson as a fellow New Englander. As we look ahead to 2014, I'm afraid we've left our children with no option but to go where there is no path. Despite the current cold spell, our legacy to them will be global warming and a climate that's changing, an economy that fails too many of us and a broken political system. I don't know about you, but that's a legacy I'm not terribly proud of. It might sound trite, but my New Year's resolution is to do everything I can to leave my children a better legacy. Not more money or an easier life or more convenience and gadgets, but a better world. I hope you'll join me in this endeavor. We can start by using 2014 to create a better Minnesota. Ralph also wrote "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." W. S. Merwin calls our attention to the possibilities that lie before us.

To the New Year

By W. S. Merwin 

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

Wishing you a better year and a better world next year.