New Year's has never been my favorite holiday to celebrate. the expectation, braving the roads full of crazy people, the need to stay up way past my bedtime. ugh. this year, we decided to go gently into that new year celebrating with a few friends, a nice potluck dinner, and some fireworks in our driveway.
it was cold on wednesday night, about -30F in the hills. we're in the middle of a cold snap and it had been cold all week with no end in sight yet.
that's why when a neighbor showed up at our door at 1 am looking for a relative visiting from the south that had been missing for an hour already, we were concerned. being outside for any length of time at those temps requires some preparation and lots of fur - things this woman surely did not have after a night of reveling.
the search continued until about 4 am and eventually involved the police and a canine unit, which was able to track her to the exact spot where she got into a car - an unknown car.
she is fine. some excellent police work revealed that she was disoriented and unable to direct the driver to where she lived, so s/he took her to a local hotel and paid for her room so that she would have a warm, safe place to be for the night.
so, on the first day of this brand new year, i was confronted with the best of humanity. people who care enough to stop and help someone, even if it's not convenient. people who mean no harm and only good. people who will make sure their neighbors are taken care of, even at cost to themselves.
someone i admire recently wrote that she always harbored a funny little belief that the way we transition into the new year sets the stage for how that year will go. i thought i was lucky to have spent a quiet, relaxing evening with a few friends, eating good food, which i was. but i was far luckier to witness real humanity from strangers, as one year passed into memory and a new one unfolded before us.
i will go into this new year remembering that there are far more good people in this world than bad people and that our capacity to care and to be human far exceeds the bad stuff going on around us, though that stuff is surely easier to focus on.
happy new year, all.