Sunday, January 01, 2006

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January 1, 2006

It appears a particularly blank page this morning. I know it’s just another day but it is different from other days, particularly this year, the first in our newly adopted country. I can’t help but take stock this morning, acknowledge progress, accept defeat, hope for the future and I am also inclined toward making some resolutions. I’m not a big one for New Year’s resolutions, although I did stop smoking cigarettes on New Year’s Eve 1999 and it has held thus far. It’s a short list; pay attention to and love my family, eat less and better, restart yoga practice, study German and do something creative every day. There are lots of other practical things I want to accomplish this year, but they all flow from one of the above …

Capsule of Cologne … New Year’s Eve. The city slowed to a halt at midday yesterday. The street emptied, just a few fathers like myself, pushing strollers through the otherwise quiet streets of the Viertel. It was very cold early in the day, then near dusk the air warmed for a few hours, a hot pocket sandwiched between the otherwise chilly layers of winter … As soon as it was fully dark fireworks began popping here and there, building in frequency and volume until midnight when the sky outside our windows exploded in purple and red and yellow, rockets flying by, spectators on rooftops with flashlights and long-stemmed flutes toasting the New Year … There was optimism in the air last night here in Cologne, you could feel it.