Yuletide Greetings, Merry Western-style Christmas, and the Happiest of New Years from me to you! May your celebration be filled with your favorite companions, a cornucopia of food and drink, and a joyous time to be had by all!
What did I do on New Year's day?
I am glad you asked!
First, I became the Empress of Eurasia:
Second, I took up cross-country skiing for the first time in many years.
Third, I came across some animal prints likely belonging to a mountain lion. (I'm no expert, but I did consult some guide books and websites as compared to the shape and size of the print being around 3.5 inches wide.)
Most important, I've had wine--very good red wine!
Happy New Year, С Новым Годом, あけおめことよろ from the end of the world, where mountain lions roam, and where lakes turn pink at night! (Yes, these are real colors. Sometimes the tint is so deep that it's blood-red, but that would probably be somewhat unsuitable for a celebratory e-card!)
I wish you all good health and well-being—physical and otherwise, because everything else we can and should accomplish ourselves.
If my 2011 was about major transformation, at times, traumatic, and 2012—about tying loose ends, then 2013 was, unexpectedly, focused on people and places.
I draw my energy from within and generally prefer solitude. However, in 2013 I've met a number of those who are valuable, and to whom I can show loyalty; occasionally, it even seemed that some I was not even supposed to encounter at all. Visiting my home, physical and spiritual, for the first time in four years also fits into this equation, as does finding new creative inspiration in music and Nature.
My greatest loss in 2013 was my best friend, Sharikov, a dachshund I adopted when I still resided in Toronto. Despite living up to his naughty Bulgakovite name, it seems that at times he was my only support—as dogs often do. I know he is giving swans hell in doggie Valhalla now!
As for 2014? I know what I have to do.
For almost a hundred years, we, Russians, have celebrated the New Year the way Westerners celebrate (what's left of) Christmas. What was once a religious ban under the Bolsheviks turned into a custom, largely freeing up the Orthodox Christmas--on January 7th--from consumerism.
Of course, many of us living in North America get to celebrate both the Gregorian- and Julian-calendar Christmas as well as the New Year and the Old New Year (on January 14th). And my name day comes up on January 27th, making the first month of the new year quite festive and masking the breakneck pace of Time's passage somewhat.