The old gives way to the new today, and once again we have been handed a clean slate, another year to embrace, enjoy and conquer. It's amazing how we manage to invest so much meaning in the passing of a moment, believing that some sort of cosmic force will draw a curtain around last year's missed opportunities, misdeeds and failures, allowing us a second chance to capture our hopes and dreams.
And yet, there it is – a splendid, sparkling gateway that beckons and fills us with hope. It's been that way for eons, no different today than when earliest man raised himself on his haunches to watch the rising of the sun each morning, and feel the warmth of its rays on his back.
This year a young boy will shout with glee as he and his friends play at life. He will dash after sunbeams, supported by the love and care of family and friends.
This year a teenage girl will become a young woman, filled with compassion for the world and a healthy belief and understanding that by reaching out to others she fills a wondrous need in herself.
This year a man and a woman will spot one another across a crowded room and the static of life will become calm and momentarily filled with music. They will embrace and whisper their love, and the burden of life will become a bit lighter.
This year people will finally manage to find their dreams and reach their goals: books will be written, fortunes earned, friends found and weight lost.
For all these boys and girls, men and women, this will be a year of joy and miracles. But, sadly, for many others, the New Year will be filled with pain, misery and loss. That this is the way of life makes it no less troublesome for those in agony.
Sometimes life becomes too much, a dark and lonely place. There are no answers. Hope no longer lingers on the horizon and troubled souls feel tossed about by the capricious winds of fate. But off in the distance there is light; perhaps dim, just a blip against a cloudy sky.
Poets and philosophers offer up this thought, echoing the constant truths found in the world's great religions. Life's secret is a conundrum that has to do with time and intent, the willingness to be calm and explore the soul – and the realization that belief can overcome doubt, faith can vanquish despair, and that life was meant to be lived with passion.