I began 2020 with a group hike to the top of Mirador Overlook in New Mexico’s Cerrillos Hills State Park. When the group reached the summit, we were provided with kazoos by the Park Ranger, on which we joyously played Auld Lang Syne, sending off the previous year and welcoming the new. At that moment, I had so much hope for 2020. Since kazoo playing is deemed a “super-spreader” activity the Park chose not to schedule a New Year’s Day hike to kick off 2021. This has left me a little bit confused. The hyped hope for 2021 is the promise of a return to normalcy, but I awoke this morning, my first awakening of 2021, to the prospect of a day alone like most of those I have survived during the past ten months.
My New Year’s Eve was spent watching comedians bid a comic farewell to the trials of 2020. I don’t mean to be a downer here, but so far 2021 seems like the greater portion of 2020. Granted, I could don warm clothing, a warm mask, and take myself for a hike but I would be alone, and without witnesses to my efforts and companions who could rescue me should I fall, it just doesn’t seem worth it. “And all the Whos down in Whoville [put on their masks] and cried boo-who-who.”
New Year’s Eve at my house included the burning of bayberry candles. It’s a long-standing tradition in my family: “Bayberry candles burnt to the socket, bring luck to the home and money to the pocket.” My family is the unluckiest, empty-pocketed candle burners in the Country. Traditionally, as we lit our candles and reflected on our bad luck of the previous year, we would quip that it could have been much worse if we hadn’t burnt our candles on the last day of the previous year. We’re afraid to take a risk, so we continue the candle-burning tradition. Last night, as the candles’ flames burned in the sockets of the candleholders, the heat generated resulted in an explosion of the candleholders which rivaled the sound of fireworks and gun shots that welcomed in 2021 in my neighborhood. As soon as I’m done here I’ll clean-up the luck infused glass shards that are scattered across my kitchen cooktop.
Welcome 2021. I’ll wish for the best. I won’t prepare for the worst, because I have glass shards to clean up so that I can get busy preparing black-eyed peas to ensure my continued luck. I refuse to be disheartened, because life is good. Now, that’s funny.
I’m so lucky that my bayberry candles burned to the socket before exploding my candleholders.