"Auld Lang Syne?" Indeed.
My family has had the great pleasure of spending Christmas break in Scotland. We have visited Edinburgh Castle, a towering structure dating back 3000 years. We have walked through an underground village that was quite literally built upon by newer buildings beginning a few hundred years ago. We have wandered about small fishing villages that exist as they did two hundred years ago. We discovered the grave of the infamous Tom Riddle of Harry Potter among headstones dating back centuries. And so much more. One of the highlights was carrying a flaming torch in the Hogmanay procession of tens of thousands of people, a centuries old tradition of bringing light into the New Year. Given all of this tradition, particularly around the New Year celebration, I was quite intrigued to learn that the song we sing at the New Year, "Auld Lang Syne," was written by a Scottish poet, Robert Burns.
"For Auld Lang Syne," as the tune begins, translates to "for (the sake) of old times." It is a tribute to that which has passed, a call to remember it well, to cherish what it was. We have experienced this love of tradition and that which was during our time in Scotland. It has made me reflect on my own history, and I do cherish my past--the good and the not-so-good--for it has all brought me to where I am today. Looking back, I see my life story unfold, my dots connect, and I am filled with gratitude and joy. I wish the same for you.
"Auld Lang Syne?" Indeed. Happy New Year!!
author of "JOY"