An edited version of this post was originally published on December 30, 2007.
The passing of the old year into the new year has always fascinated me. The thought that it can be 2008 one second and 2009 the next? Something about that seems nearly mystical.
I was so amazed by this phenomenon that in 1984, shortly before midnight, I took an old pickle jar and scooped it through the air around me. Then I slammed the lid shut, screwed it on tightly, and wound yards of masking tape around the neck. I held in my hands The Year Of Our Lord Nineteen Eighty Four, hermetically sealed for all time. I suppose my 12th year had been a good one, and I thought the day might come when I'd need to go back and sniff it.
I had a very large closet in my girlhood home, the sort of closet where random keepsakes like fire batons and homecoming corsages and jarred air could multiply at will. The air of 1984 gradually became buried under other equally sentimental notions, and it wouldn't resurface again until shortly before my wedding, in 1994. I was sorting through some old keepsakes, and the old jar rolled out of its place.
I looked at it for a few moments and thought of 1984. I thought of Final Net hairspray and orthodontia and President Reagan and Square Pegs. Smiling at my youthful sentimentality (since I was, by then, a wise old woman of 21), I ripped off the seal and took a sniff. As it turns out, 1984 smelled a lot like pickles.
There's not really any point to this story, except to laugh and acknowledge that the passing of the year is momentous for those of us with sentimental tendencies. Here's wishing you many good things (and even better non-things) in 2009. I pray it's a year so wonderful that you want to stick it in a jar for all time.
Happy new year, friends.