Marja-Leena Rathje
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New Year's Hope


'Tis the sixth day of Christmas and another New Year's Eve before us, how the year flew by! As I drank my breakfast tea over our local newspaper, the editorial pleased me in putting some of my own thoughts about New Years into focus. Now let me say, I'm usually displeased by the usual right-wing writing offered by this paper, though I do continue to loyally subscribe for the local news and events and certain more enlightened writers.

I had been thinking about how our long ago ancestors might have felt about New Year's and this writer has done so as well in 2008 leaves us with a gift: Hope. Here's an excerpt:

Two thousand and eight has been something of a Pandora's Box of a year. It seems virtually all evils were unleashed on the world this year, including seemingly endless wars, political strife both domestic and foreign, and the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes.

But if the legend of Pandora's Box has it right, there must be something left: Hope. [...]
New Year's is, in fact, one of the oldest holidays on record. First celebrated by the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago, New Year's was originally observed after the vernal equinox, the first day of spring.

This was obviously a hopeful time, as spring is the season of rebirth, the time when the days grow longer and everything else just starts growing. The Babylonians took this mighty seriously, as they spent not one, but 11 days celebrating the New Year.

The horrific events in the Middle East are dominating our thoughts at what should be a happier time of year and is reflected upon in many great posts on New Years out there in the blogosphere. May I point you to this very thoughtful one by one of my favourite writers, Beth of The Cassandra Pages. And the lovely words and photos by Lucy of Box Elder are not to be missed.

And please sign this petition to call for a ceasefire and stop the bloodshed in Gaza!

After this crazy year, my best New Year's wish to all of you, my dear readers, is hope, friendship and love in 2009. Thank you all for reading and commenting and I hope we continue the conversations in the New Year.

Related links:

Wikipedia's New Year

My favourite New Year's posts in 2006 and in 2007

Marja-Leena | 31/12/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Home


Happy New Year Marja.

I do hope for a better year, 08 was too much at times.

Thank you ML, and a very happy New Year to you.

Happy New Year, Marja-Leena!

What an exhausting year this has been. We can hope that 2009 will be better, but right now it seems unlikely. Still, we must hope.
Happy New Year!

And a happy new year to you too, M-L.

Happy New Year Marja-Leene. Let us keep the hope, though somedays it feels too hard.

In Japan, they say, "fall down 7 times, get up 8 times" ... I am an optimist because of the good people out there who do strive to make things better and gentler. Happy Happy New Year to you!

Thank you, all! Today has felt like a fresh new day, with a new snowfall last night followed by a light rain, and now with patches of blue sky and sunshine. We phoned dear out of town friends this morning, then having a lazy afternoon chatting with the family and finishing the last of the Christmas baking, a stollen.... Hope you are all enjoying similar delights.

We in the West are in for a bumpy ride but it promises to be interesting and may teach us some hard and overdue lessons. For the Middle East we must pray and hope. As for thanking us for coming here, well, the thanks are all on our side. Happy New Year, Marja-Leena.

Anna, I agree wholeheartedly regarding both economy and the Middle East!