My first days of 2013 were filled with beautiful lights - fireworks by the bay to welcome the new year, multicolored reflection of stained glass windows on a church floor, afternoon haze and sunsets along the Pacific. When I was growing up in the Philippines, we had this belief that whatever you do on New Year's Day will set the tone for the rest of your year. And so my mom would make sure we cleaned the entire house on the 31st and my siblings and I are on our best behavior (read: helping with household chores, saying our prayers, eating healthy).
Even if I don't believe in this tradition anymore, the sentiment continues to stay with me. There's something to be said about starting over and feeling hopeful about making positive changes in your life that makes New Year's Day special. One thing that I did for myself was spend a quiet hour inside Grace Cathedral where I wrote my wishes on a postcard and meditated along the labyrinth. Ironically enough, the poem that I memorized at the beginning of 2012 was Burning the Old Year, which couldn't have been more apt for the rough year that I had.
But onwards to 2013! I just know that it is going to be a good one. Like I said in my previous post, I chose Orkney/This Life by Andrew Greig as my poem to welcome the new year (if you haven't yet, have a listen here). I also came across this wish by the famous author Neil Gaiman and thought it's so beautiful I want to share it here, a wish for all of you and for myself:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
My dear friends, here's to a wonderful 2013! あけましておめでとう。