“Now the year is over, let us braver stand, / Seeking to discover His—our Father’s–hand.”~Emily Elliott
I always save “A Wonderful Life” for the last of my “Christmasy” movies. I’m not sure when it became a New Year’s tradition for me, but that is exactly what it is. There are the Santa Claus movies, the Nativity movies, the found-lost-old-new-love movies of TV fare – but “Wonderful Life” ranks among the ones that I really look forward to seeing – especially the ending.
Time flies by pretty fast for this ol’ gal. Seems like just yesterday, I was holding Zu-zu’s petals in my hands when I retired and moved to North Carolina. Of course it follows that 2018 was barely a blink in time. Watching the newscasts from around the world and waiting for the one ending in NYC, I understand a little better why this old Scottish poem has become so ingrained in New Year’s celebrations world-wide.
“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?”
I remember sitting on the stairs wrapped in Mom’s seal skin coat, watching my parents celebrate with their friends in some living room (sometimes ours – sometimes elsewhere) at the stroke of midnight. Their hands joined in a circle as they swayed back and forth. Cigarette/pipe smells mixed with the sweet pungent smell of alcohol. Counting down with the radio or TV. Singing along with Guy Lombardo. “For auld lang syne…”
“For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”
Most people don’t realize that they are singing Scottish words and the “auld lang syne” isn’t really “old lang syne”. Even the addition of the English word “old”, doesn’t do much to help us understand what we are singing. The best translation that I found seems to be “Times Go By”. The song makes a little more sense as a New Year’s song when you substitute the words we understand for the Scottish ones.
Times Go By, and as we age, those times seem to go faster and faster until we are almost dizzy at the speed of events.
I think that is why I love watching “A Wonderful Life”. Harry and Mary Bailey are just like most of us. Making plans. Being side-tracked. Running into dead ends. Encouraging others. Raising a family. Frustrated when goals get trashed. A rock of strong values for others. Confused at times. Full of self-pity during weak moments. But as Times Go By, they grow wiser, and the Baileys finally figure out that they have really been on the path GOD designed just for them.
“And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.”
Today has been a great New Year’s Eve. Eggnog with the daughter and her family. Making a New Year’s Eve Star to hang above the nativity. Friends and family posting about so many wonderful blessings and thoughts from 2018. Devotional times that continue to enrich this last day of the year and shine a Light for me to follow into 2019.
Times Go By, and they may go by a little faster than I like. But my year – like the Baileys – has been filled with all the blessings that are designed just for me – just to help me become a wiser and better person than I was at the beginning of 2018. So tonight – if I am still awake – I will walk outside and give thanks to My Father. A Father who loves me more than I know and blesses me far beyond what I deserve.
“On the sixth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me…” Times Go By and Blessings!Be! in 2019!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”~Is 43:19
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