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  • Betty Girardeau

Something Old And Something New


"Happy New Year!" I have seen and heard these three little words a lot in the last twenty-four hours. I have even greeted others with them myself. How wonderful that we have one day each year when we can look forward with hope and expectancy. In reality, though, today is just the day after yesterday. Nothing has really changed drastically because a calendar page has been flipped. I certainly don't mean for this to sound negative or depressing. It's just a fact. I am sure you all know the bridal rhyme starting with "Something old, something new, etc." It was first used in Victorian England to list the ingredients for warding off the "Evil Eye" and to bring luck to the bride in her new life. The "something old" was considered a necessary tie to the bride's past and family and needed to be mixed with the "something new" because who and what we are and can become is still tied to who we were and hoped to be. We, like the bride, I think, need to honor both of these, too, as we begin a new year with all its possibilities. I met this little red truck and its owner today as I was out walking. The owner's grandfather gave it to him when he was fifteen years old, at which time, I was told, it was almost "rusted out." Many years later it has been restored, a project that took better than two years. I wish I had asked when he finally was able to actually work on the restoration. Given how bright and shiny it currently is, I would guess fairly recently. If so, I can only imagine that there were many times when others questioned if that would ever happen and why was he still holding on to it? But I can guess why. It was a tie to a grandfather who he loved and who loved him, and with whom he likely shared a common love for this old truck. It was important to be able to bring it back to life and to share it as its "new self" with others. There is something about seeing something old made new again that brings a smile to us. The pleasure may be hard to explain or put into words. But I think it may be because all of us sense the need to have some of the "somethings old" in our lives right along with the new things. They are kind of "security blanket." We do need the "something old" just as much as the "something new" to continue to be and to become.

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