Back(ing) to the Future

By , January 1, 2015

Certain Aboriginal nations conceptualize life as backing into the future.

To the western mind, this seems wrong—we face the future, hurling ourselves headlong into it, ready to deal with what comes. The Aboriginal view actually makes more sense, because we know what’s happened in the past, we don’t know what will happen in the future. Backing into the future shows that reality and limitation; we gaze at the known as we advance into the unknown.

Perhaps, then, I should be more forebearing when the radio news does little but offer 2014 in review. I generally find it tedious and unnecessary. Ironically, I’ve looked back on our own year, and those beyond it, even more often lately than I usually do.

Much of this comes from the “Posts of Christmas Past” that I’ve been putting up on the “Homestead” Facebook page through the Christmas season (fair warning: we celebrate till January 6th, so we’re not through yet!). Having Aly home for Christmas contributes much to this, as does a recent scare over my father’s health (he’s improving!). All of this adds to what is for me an intensly nostalgic time of year.

As an essayist, I may be required somewhat to either recap or predict at the turning of the year, neatly, thoughtfully encapsulating what has come before or what will come after, preferably with a pithy, useful observation to tie it all together.

But, this blog is (or at least should be) about real life. And, I often find that real life isn’t like that.

As much as we rely on holidays and special dates to season our year, I fully acknowledge that today ultimately holds only its own significance. No matter what associations we place upon it, its true worth lies in what happens this particular day. We make as much or as little of it as we can or will.

Odd, isn’t it, that I should even say this here in the midst of my beloved “time out of time”? But, there it is.

The plain truth: I’m probably feeling this way because Aly leaves for school tomorrow. All too soon, we’re breaking up the team again. Michelle and I will finish out the Christmas season alone. Perhaps this is what makes me write so cynically right now.

Nevertheless, if I shirk my punditary duty, I won’t neglect wishing one and all a happy, prosperous New Year!

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