We Made It! 2017 has arrived! What should we do first? Accept new challenges? Learn new skills and talents? Resolve to make great and lasting changes and generally shake up the status quo? Perhaps, soon, but not today.
For me, the first day of January is set aside for tradition. For the better part of 25 years that tradition has included attending Mass at the nearest Catholic church. That’s the new part. The old part, the really, really old part, is having lunch at home on New Year’s Day. It’s one of my favorite meals of the entire year with a set menu of black-eyed peas, collard greens, roasted pork of some sort, corn bread with butter, and sweet tea, every year. Every single year for as long as I can recall, this meal has been prepared by my grandmother, aunts, mother with intentions and prayers for all who join in the meal to enjoy health, love, happiness and prosperity in the coming year. Another tradition for me is that this simple, hearty meal to begin the new year is ALWAYS served on fine china, and the sweet iced tea in tall crystal.
This year I noticed my 17-year-old son take a snapshot of the table and his plate to send to his girlfriend. Sure, it could be just an idle text on what’s going on at that moment, but it could also be an intentional sharing of his traditions as well. My heart hopes that’s the case.
It’s just lunch with the family. It doesn’t change the responsibilities awaiting when school and businesses reopen; obligations and opportunities await in the coming days; but for the first lunch of the new year we will celebrate in a more special way one of countless beautiful, familiar moments that happen in and amongst our daily lives; for this one meal, on this one day, the love spans centuries.
Perhaps later this week I’ll consider resolutions, but for now I simply want to wish you all a safe and happy new year! May it be filled with great friendships, deep love, and wonderful adventures and timeless traditions. Welcome to 2017, my friends.