Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve (2017)

It's New Year's Eve 2017. Though we're refrigerated by Arctic air there was a complementary cloudless azure dome and dazzling yellow sunshine today. It was sublime to be outside! Conveniently the low tide was at noon so there was a broad swath of smooth, flat sand upon which to cycle to Ponce Inlet. The sea was jade and frothing. Along the beach were sunbathers, surfers, fishermen, walkers, cyclists, couples, families and holiday-makers.

I reflected as I cycled. Though Christmas Day was a week ago I am only now catching up with the celebration.  Perhaps it was the fruitful conversations I had last evening on the telephone with family and a friend in Canada.  They had just surfaced from holiday submersions (dinners, foregatherings and outings), a marked difference from our own comparatively tepid experience here where in keeping with our custom we did nothing. We learned of their social events and the particulars of their extraordinary meals. Then there was chat about practical matters, plotting an agenda of business. By degrees we are reintroducing ourselves to normalcy though not without the further suspension of New Year's Eve.

Yesterday I nosed around iTunes. I was looking for a Mantovani album of Christmas music which my mother used to play in the 1950s when our family lived in Washington, DC. I found it. Mother played the LP year after year at Christmas for as long as I can remember.  This afternoon after my bike ride I listened to the downloaded electronic version once again.  So familiar am I with the album that I was able to predict the successive tunes.  Each one put me in a state of reminiscent reverie, whether of the thickly carpeted den in Washington, the blazing Vermont casting in the house in Almonte or a wintry view of the back yard, the image of a glittering Christmas card or a scene from "A Christmas Carol". The effect was utter tranquillity and admittedly rather gushy. Earlier in the week I listened to Eugene Ormandy's rendition of Handel's Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. All of which reaffirms that for me music at Christmas is paramount though I shall soon be saturated with these sentimental memories.

Earlier this morning I searched the web and found a pleasing image to use for an electronic New Year's card which I sent to over one hundred people.  Though generally I disapprove of mass mailings and "blind Ccs" the simplicity of the message appeared to fulfill its intended purpose; namely, just remembering people "at this time of year". We heard back from many, many people some of whom sent along their own Christmas story.

Subsequently this evening we FaceTimed with our vagabond friends in Canada where they are only momentarily perched before heading south again to the Caribbean, Siesta Key, the South Pacific and ultimately Africa.  We feel positively sedate by comparison!  I am however content to contemplate mere domestic obligations - including one medical attendance further afield - over the next few weeks before leaving for Key West. Before long New Year's Eve will be but a dim recollection.

No comments:

Post a Comment