A "blue moon" is going to usher us out of 2009 and into the new year. And I can't think of a lovelier or more fitting symbol for this transition.
I think we'd all agree that this has been a pretty dismal year in oh-so-many ways. We've been bombarded with awful news from every possible angle. From day-to-day stuff like paying the mortgage and job security to escapist pleasures like politics, sports or celebrity gossip, the accumulation of crap has been relentless.
An editorial in yesterday's Record claimed that despite this constant barrage, a recent AP-GfK Roper poll showed that 78% of Americans claimed they were "very...or somewhat happy." And it (more or less) defined happiness as "the end toward which all other ends lead." If everything we do or desire is just a means toward this one end, one would think that 2009's continuous assault on our psyche's would have driven that percentage far lower. Many of those I love have grappled with the kind of debilitating hardships--from loss of income to chronic health issues--that drown happiness in their wakes. During the summer I often felt guilty about publicly admitting to having a good day--even around my most upbeat friends! I started this blog to develop a practice of celebrating the positive; on any given day, it's been a daunting task.
That said, we don't need a poll to tell us that happiness is something we choose. And tonight is our chance to breathe a sigh of relief as we sip (or gulp!) our champagne and watch the ball drop in Times Square. Not because we'll wake up tomorrow and find our world drastically changed. And not because there's any guarantee that the coming year will be an improvement over the one we're kicking to the curb. But because that ball will be dropping under a big, bright, blue moon. A natural phenomenon so special that it won't happen again (on New Year's Eve, anyway) until 2028.
It's snowing outside my studio window as I write this, so it's possible we won't actually see this moon. But we'll all know it's there. Beaming it's light into the darkest corners of our world. A glorious reminder that miracles do happen.
My New Year's wish is that we all remember to appreciate the miracles that happen-- not just "once in a blue moon"--but every single day of our lives. We may have to look hard to see them. And some days we may not find them at all. But faith is knowing they're always there. And hope is the moon that illuminates them.