My dear friends...
And so we begin another year. Another cycle in the continuous circling of the Earth around the Sun. Another passage of the Body, Mind, and Soul through the Labyrinth of Life.
And as we end the latest of these rotations and begin again yet another, every thinking person must ask, “What is the point of this? Are we truly just going round in circles, pretending that our elliptical course is a straight line actually going somewhere? Is there any kind of purpose or destination? Or are we lined up at the starting gate like horses at Churchill Downs, itching to race like mad to get to where we began, this time strangely and ironically calling that place the Finish Line?
Can I be the only one who will entertain such thoughts a few hours from now as I and a group of my friends and relatives stand holding our glasses of sparkly, gaily, and with not a little bit of melancholy, count down: “five…..four…..three…..two…..ONE!,” then shouting “Happy New Year” as if seeking to convince each other that the endless passage of time was actually something to celebrate?
What are we celebrating?, I am wondering today. Where are we going actually?, I wonder. And then in a few nights I will sing…
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
The sadness, the poignancy, of the song never fails to bring tears to my eyes—more so, I notice, with each passing year. I wondered last year about the origin of this traditional New Year’s Eve song, and so, I opened Wikipedia to find (and I knew this before, but had simply forgotten) that it is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns long ago (in 1788, to be specific) and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
It’s well known in many countries, especially (but far from exclusively) in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.
The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since," or more idiomatically, "long, long ago," "days gone by," or "old times." Consequently "For auld lang syne," as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times."
For my own part, I’ve sung the song too many times, in the presence of too many dear, dear people, to be able to not cry…because too many of these dear, dear people have been forgot, in the sense that they are no longer a part of my present-moment life. And I wonder (my mind does these things to me), as I look into the faces of those who are here now, how long they will be part of my life, or if, on some future New Year’s Eve, I’ll be singing and thinking (and gently weeping) about them…
I don’t like it that so many present and pleasant experiences so fast turn into bitter-sweet memories…sweet because of their content, bitter because they are never to be visited again. I want no endings in this life! Really. Really. I want no endings. I’m tired of endings. Especially where people are concerned. I want people who have meant something to me to mean something to me always, and I want to be able to experience that meaning always—not as a memory, but as a here-and-now occurrence.
Perhaps that is the meaning of it all. Perhaps that is the purpose of this circular journey we are on. Perhaps it is all a journey to where we have already been, so that we may have again and again and again the experience that we are overjoyed to have: the experience of Who We Really Are—which is Love. Love Announced, Love Expressed, Love Sent and Received.
This thought fills me with a determination to make every moment that I now have with my Beloveds count. I’ve made that resolution before, of course. And then I get right back into my Everyday, and somehow, someplace, somewhere, I lose touch with my determination to live Life in such a way that every. single. solitary. moment is filled with Love Announced, Love Expressed, Love Sent and Love Received.
But I remember once awakening with a startling idea. What if I sang Auld Lang Syne in my head every time I saw a person who is Now In My Life who is special to me? What if I started singing it quietly inside of myself every time I see them, every time I speak with them, every time I hug them or share space with them in any way?
What a marvelous idea! I told myself. Yes, I will sing that song in my head, and pretend that it is some future New Year’s Eve and that the person in front of me is, for some reason, no longer there. Then I will blink back the soft and hopefully hidden misty eyes of my present moment melancholy and speak words to her, and use tones of voice with him, and share emotions with them, that truly present the fullness of my feelings for them. And then I will smile and hold with deep inner joy and undisguised outward celebration the fact that this is not some future New Year’s Eve, but that I—and we—are Right Here, Right Now.
And then I will smile, too, and trust that all those who have been in my Now Moment before will return to my present awareness and my present experience when I celebrate my Continuation Day, leaving my body and going Home. There they will all be waiting. There we will all hug and squeeze and touch and hold and smile and talk and dance with excitement and joy as we embrace once again the presence of each other—of all those with whom we have intertwined our lives in Soul Love.
To those with whom we have made mistakes we will say, “I'm sorry. I’m so sorry.” And those who have made mistakes with us will say the same. And for each of us it will not matter what had been done, for we will deeply understand—and once again deeply love. And to those with whom our only sadness has been their departure from our lives we will say, “My God, how good…how very, very, very good…to see you again, to be with you again.”
And we will have spoken rightly. For it shall be God that we will be seeing once again.
And so today, knowing this, I actively and joyously choose to see God in everyone, not just in some Future Now, but in This Now. And I’ll sing Auld Lang Syne not just on New Year’s Eve, but make this very minute New Year’s Eve, all year long, in my heart and in my mind. And I’ll take a cup of kindness now, for these are the days of Auld Lang Syne.
Happy New Year, everyone! Happy, happy life!
Hugs and love,
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.