Welcoming the New Year of 2009 — but this too shall pass…

photo by Dhara Gunawardene
A wordsmith paints: photo by Dhara Gunawardene

Another year grew old and weary
And gave way to one new and young.
Another orbit we’ve completed
Around our local star, the Sun.

We’ve been here before,
And return here we shall.
Dare I say it, among celebrations:
This too shall pass.

I have often wondered:
Where does an old year go
Once it has been with us
And served its time
And delivered its joys and sorrows
And other assorted gifts
That Father Time packed into it?

Is there some chrono-graveyard
Up there in the blue yonder
Where aged years go,
To lie peacefully — and die?

To the New Year, I say:
Bask in your welcome and glory
And enjoy while it lasts.
Celebrations are ephemeral;
The very people who rejoice your arrival
Would loudly cheer your demise
And eagerly countdown
The arrival of the next year
In just three sixty five days.

That too shall pass.

In transit are we all,
On this Third Rock from the Sun
Waiting for our onward journeys
From Here to Eternity.

Some of us, the steady types
Stay longer in this transit,
Welcoming dozens of years
As they arrive, endure and depart.

Some leave a mark
In the ‘sands of time’ as they say
Legacies of brick or flesh
Or just fond, loving memories.

But remember this, New Year:
There are a few of us,
Precious few, as it turns out,
Who don’t measure our worth
By the number of years
Whose passage we count.

We add life to years
Not simply years to life.

– Nalaka Gunawardene
Originally written on 1 January 2006, welcoming another New Year that’s now only a memory

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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