Thursday, December 31, 2020

The year's end

 I know, of course, little will change when we flip the calendar, and really, by rights, the new year should PROBABLY start either on one of the solstices or one of the equinoxes and not in this weird, about-1/3-through-the-Northern-hemisphere-winter date that is kind of a historical artifact. (I vaguely remember - wasn't it in France that hundreds of years ago, April 1 was the new year's day)

But we mark it today, and I admit I am glad to see the last of 2020. Early 2021 won't be much better, and the news carries distressing reports of slow and bad vaccine rollouts, and other issues. 

But maybe tonight we celebrate a little.

 I made a little "appetizer dinner" - some of those prosciutto-wrapped cheese things, and a bit of fresh mozzarella, and some pickled baby corn, and some fruit, and deviled eggs, which I made completely for the first time in my life. (My mother used to help me with these, peeling the eggs and dividing the halves - that's the hardest part). I did have to look up a recipe but my memory was right - mayonnaise, mustard (I use the dry kind), pickle relish, paprika. (I did wind up wrapping most of them up and putting them away for tomorrow)

I also opened a bottle of Martinelli's (non alcoholic) sparkling cider (this is the best, I think, of these types of things, though the so-called "Baptist champagne" that people around here do for parties - which is ginger ale and white grape juice, mixed roughly half-and-half, is good too)

I ordered the prosciutto things and the Martinelli's from Wal-mart; Pruett's doesn't have them. I ordered two bottles of the cider, I am not sure why I did that but I think the second one? Maybe I keep it to crack open the day that either I get vaccinated, or I hear my mother has been successfully vaccinated, whichever comes first. 

Here's hoping things start going more smoothly soon.

And an old, old poem, one I associate with the New Year, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


(I also associate this with a short story in a mystery compilation I have - I barely remember the story but it was by DB Wyndham Lewis - maybe it was the one with the tramp who stole Christmas donations? I was remembering it as being "Death on the Air," which is a Ngaio Marsh story, but that was a different story and may have been right before or right after this one in the collection. But yes, I think this is a good poem and a good sentiment.)

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

Happy New Year, I certainly hope!