Glory of the sunset in Aquinnah as 2017 draws to an end. Timothy Johnson

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The hope for the year ahead is heard once again in the old and comfortable greeting called out to friends and strangers alike: "We wish you a Happy New Year!" There are no better words for the beginning of a new year, always with the accompanying sentiments of peace and joy and prosperity for all. The arrival of this new year comes Monday on the first tick past midnight. And while 2018 opens with much to hope for, it also starts, as did the last year, with uncertainty and even worry about the state of the nation.

It is perhaps these concerns of the day that turn us to poets and philosophers to define the importance of the coming of any new year: Housman reflected on the "beauty of the death-struck year." Emerson told us the "years teach what the days never know." In the 19th century Charles Lamb wrote: "No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference." And Tennyson took special note of the new year when he was poet laureate of England in 1850: "Ring out the old, ring in the new; Ring, happy bells, across the snow; The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true."

With that in mind, from all of us at the Vineyard Gazette we extend to everyone on the Island and across the nation best wishes for a happy, prosperous and peaceful new year 2018.

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