Beau January 1st, 2009
It’s the dawn of a new day, and a new year. Amazing how our lives evolve to a seeming time warp of past memories. One day we look around and wonder, “What happened?!” And thus it has ever been. With the transition to a new year I always find myself in a reflective, perhaps pensive mood. We are reminded of so much, and at times we struggle to understand the change in our lives, or even the passing of the year.
Last night the young boy stayed up for his first new year’s celebration. Celebration is an optimistic word at best, but we all said farewell to the year gone by and toasted the arrival of the new year. Considering that we usually fell asleep early the past few years, last night was a big event! But as we counted down the minutes and seconds, the boy didn’t want 2008 to end. He didn’t know why really, he just knew that we were saying goodbye to something, letting it go and moving on. And those transitions are hard sometimes.
Earlier in the day we said farewell to “Brownie” the goldfish. Brownie was a gift to him five years ago at Christmas. He awoke that day long ago with all the fervor of a three-year old, running down the hall shouting “Santa brought me fish!” It was so cute. And after starting with three, we now have one large, seven-inch goldfish left. They grow big in five years. Brownie was a Black Moor- those bulbous, puffy eyed black colored goldfish. Only Brownie became orange over the years presumably because of the food we gave him. He looked like an orange ball with fins, and was a really nice fish. But sometime last year his swim bladders stopped working right and he spent a few hours each day upside down swimming around. He didn’t seem to mind, and swam upright otherwise. But yesterday he was struggling on the bottom of the tank, and I knew it was his time. Still I tried to resuscitate him, pushing him back and forth, coaxing him to live… but shortly after he gave two big yawning gasps, a flick of the fins, and then he was gone. I’ve never had a fish die in my hands before, it was very strange.
We took Brownie to the pond outdoors, the grounds were frozen and hard. Besides we decided, fish live in the pond and that should be a good resting place for them too. The boy cried and my heart was heavy as we said farewell, remembering our goodbyes to his Bepaw, my father, and a pet cat Sparky in recent years too. So many memories- reflections of years past, the pace of change and the path of our lives.
Letting go can be hard, especially for those we love. Even the symbolic change that a calendar represents holds meaning for us, created by man to lend astronomical reality to the measurement of our lives. Today is really no different from yesterday, except that it is new, and we’re alive in the present. And with our reflections come welcome thoughts of hope and promise. It’s a day, the first day of the year, to make the best of ourselves, and continue making those memories we will cherish years from now.