This is a song that has always made me tear up when I sing it, but I had no idea what the words meant!
Auld Lang Syne literally translated means old long since, or days gone by. Being an empath the poignancy is not lost on me: the days that have gone, those that we have loved and lost, bringing in the New Year remembering them, but looking to the future.
I sat in my sunny garden yesterday, in the crisp cold air, and wrote my journal for the first time in a long time, and in it I wrote…
‘Dylan, and Oscar, and Sophie died this year. Sometimes our garden seems full of memories, of the ghosts of all the animals who were running around in it. Let us not forget Tilly Kitten who was also here then.
Then there were the chickens, the last girly died this year and Claudy the Cockerel was found a new home and a new girlfriend. Our garden became very quiet when they left, no more clucking, no more barking from Wiglet.
But life reminds us constantly that change is the only constant, and all we can do is evolve with it; carry our sadness for those who loved us, and who we loved but now we can no longer see or talk to. I have a strong feeling that there is a contingent here of animals passed, all waiting for Molly, whose time is imminent. She sits on my lap now, whenever possible, and I treasure every moment. Here she is, on my lap, early this morning.
For me the ending of the year and the ringing in of the New is a time for reflection, I don’t anticipate, as I know that life is doing the driving. I don’t look to the New Year believing it will bring me untold joy, happiness and wealth; I just know that it will bring me what I need (even if I don’t realise it at the time).
Last year we started the New Year not knowing if this was still the life for us. We believed that life would show us the way and it did: we went forward with our own business and used all we had learnt in our careers, and it has been the best year yet, where work has been concerned. We are still broke but we are the ones in charge of our lives p, and for the first time ever since living here we go into the New Year with some work. Where emotions are concerned we have learnt a lot this year, mainly remembered the people that we really are, we had lost them somewhere along the way, their back now.
I wrote how I finally came back to being me; and as a result my other blog has reached over 110,000 views in just over a year. This blog has more followers and views than ever before and I got my book published. The response from people all over the world has been so encouraging and I haven’t really started to fully promote it yet. So all good. I have met some wonderful people via cyber-space, who have truly inspired me at times.
But we don’t hold on too tight any more. That is the lesson we learnt this year: don’t hold on to something so tight you stop other things coming to you, or you stay stuck. A lesson from the Tao but also a fantastic lesson in Mark Nepo’s book of awakening:
To catch monkeys holes would be cut in coconuts just big enough for a monkey to get his hand through, then the coconut would be filled with rice to entice the monkey. The hungry monkey would come along and put his hand in the coconut, but of course once his hand was made into a fist to hold the rice he could not get it back out of the coconut. The monkey would be so caught up in the food in the coconut he would not let go of the rice, and forget that other food would come along; and the monkey’s who would not let go, were the monkey’s who were caught. All this year RD and I have used the analogy to ‘not hold on too tight’ and today we read this particular chapter for the first time, and smiled. It’s been our lesson and life has confirmed that to us as the year closes.
It has been a productive year, it has been a happy year, and it has been a sad year because of the beautiful animals who have left us. So at the end of the year I want to pay homage to those who left my life (and the lives of others, leaving them bereft).
In January I wrote how a friend had helped me make my decisiton to stay and try for longer. He was someone I had known for over fourty years. We were not constantly in touch, had lost touch at times, but he was always a kind man, who truly cared. When he died suddenly in March after a short illness I was shocked, and his words rang in my ears: about how lucky I was to live here in the peace and quiet, about how anywhere has it downsides. Of course it does, he was right, and I think about him often, I will be raising my glass tonight to Rod Claricoats, I have no doubt he will be toasting the New Year with my mum.
Sophie Loafy. Sophie died suddenly in July we took her in for four years she had a difficult life but for the last years of her life she was loved, more than ever before. RD still misses her riding on his shoulder as works in the garden.
Osky Bosky as I loved to call him. His name was Oscar and he was a loved and faithful companion to a very dear friend of ours. A big cuddly apricot toy poodle, who was always allowed his coat as nature intended. Oscar was diagnosed with cancer at a time that his dad was told a dear friend was also dying. I believe that dog held on to give his loved owner time to grieve before he had to leave him also. Whenever they visited or met us for walks (Oscar got on well with all the Welshies) he would be so genuinely pleased to see you. Smiling with his apricot lips, and looking so cute with that apricot nose. It always seems strange when his dad visits now, and Oscar is not with him. I picture him bounding round the garden with Dilly Dyls, smiling, as he always did. A truly beautiful boy.
Dyly Dyls, the little Welshie who was taken too soon. She blew in like a whilrwind, a little tornado running like the wind in our garden with her ears flapping. She went on a new adventure but sadly died soon after. Even now I cannot believe she has gone, and it still brings tears to my eyes. She was so loved, and has left a gaping hole in her mum’s heart.
And Molly? She is still here but it really is her last days, and we carry her and give her cat soup, and just cuddle her. I will cry, but I know it is time.
So add to that my mum and dad, and there is a wonderful New Years party going on up there, with all the animals we have loved and lost ruuning around young and free.
We have learnt that there has to be a balance, in everything, Good and bad, life and death, our love for animals reminds of that.
A mellow New Year, not Happy because there will be sadness as well as happiness. I believe that a mellow New Year filled with kindness, even if it is only you remembering to be kind, will be the best New Year. Just remember don’t hold on too tight.