Perhaps I should designate 2007 as the year of the power outage. Certainly the end of the year has been that way. This morning after the alarm went off but before I had my slippers on, the power went off again.
Overnight, I had less than an inch of snow, so downed trees or limbs are not the issue. Perhaps, this time it was the standard car-into-a-pole scenario. In any event, the mountain is dark this morning. Again.
For me, starting a new year means starting a new bird list. It's a time of hope and optimism, when I plan to spend more time birding, when I resolve to look harder for my local birds, when I hope April and May will bring waves of warblers to the mountain.
But December 31? If it means anything to me, it means getting the spreadsheets and bird lists ready for the new year. As a day in and of itself, I don't pay all that much attention to it. Certainly my feeder birds don't know that tomorrow I will be counting them (again) in earnest. To the natural world outside my door, tomorrow is simply another sunrise, another sunset. Some days I wonder if I should be more like that. Other days, I'm happy to observe the human-created holidays and rituals that are separate from the goings on in the natural world. Call it inter-species tension, if you like, as for all I know, trees have their own holidays and rituals that humans aren't privy to and don't celebrate.
So I am preparing for a human holiday tomorrow, a human-labeled arrival of the new year, though as a species we can't even agree on the date for its start. I can find references to 20+ different dates for the start of the new year. We do, however, seem to agree that a new year is cause for celebration, so I guess that's something. For now, it will have to do.
Happy New Year! However and whenever you celebrate it.