Tuesday, January 1, 2013

For Auld Lang Syne...

 I think that something got lost in translation.  I had a nice long talk (I really don't do any other kind) with my children on New Years Eve about the meaning of the holiday.  I was stunned to learn that they only knew it as a day to make resolutions and look forward to the new year... WHAT?!  I quickly assured them that it was about neither!  The word resolution is not about making goals.  It is about resolving.  You can only resolve what has already passed.  You can set goals for the future but not resolutions.  New years Eve is about resolving.  The most famous song ever written about New Years Eve is right on the money... only so few actually know the words that it is not surprising there is confusion.  I walked my children through each verse and I think Raven put it best with "Oh gosh, that makes so much more sense and has such a beautiful meaning! I never thought of it that way!".  It occurred to me as I read through so many posts today that maybe my children were not the only ones who didn't get it.  So, here we go... New Years Eve class.

Auld Lang Syne was originally a Scottish Song that was translated over time into many languages and has become a  hallmark for the holiday because it truly embraces what it represents.  Lets take a look at it shall we? 

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne my dear, for auld lang syne
we'll drink a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne

The first thing to clarify is that 'For Auld Lang Syne' means  'For Old Times Sake'.  The second is that the "cup of kindness" is many times represented literally by a cup of liquid but means exactly what it says, a cup of kindness.  An acquaintance is someone you have met.

And surely you’ll buy your cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne

This means that I will pay for what I have done and you will pay for what you have done but we are choosing to wash it away with a cup of kindness and releasing each other for any debt emotionally or physically to one another.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We have had our good times and do not denounce what  made us friends.  We have walked through part of life together and we will not forget that.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till nigh ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

We have struggled and grown together in our childhood or as grown children but time and circumstances have divided us.  Conflict has divided our hearts in the time that has passed.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

I will give you my hand and you will put yours in mine.  We will choose to wash away the past with kindness for old times sake.

It was meant to be an annual practice to keep our hearts from filling with bitterness and strife.  We have instead taken time each year to practice breaking promises, in the place of practicing resolving conflict and forgiveness. Yet we wonder why we are so much better at one than the other.  This year I beg you.  Please do not practice breaking promises to yourself or to God.  Instead, practice forgiveness and ownership of your mistakes.  I promise you that one will usher in a truly NEW YEAR and the other just a broken heart that may not even be your own.

For all those love birds out there... the tradition of kissing your love on the stroke of midnight is to take love with you into the new year.  It is to pull the one you love into an embrace and kiss them, thereby choosing to bring their love and your love for them with you into the new year while leaving all the past behind.  For the record... not a bad idea to do everyday!



Anonymous said...

I love your heart. And, I miss your face!

Girdie Fae said...

Thank you for this...I agree, Raven said it best. I'm glad to know the rest of the song; I'd never heard all of it before.

Olson Family said...

Well. Thank you for that! Who knew! Girl, how you bless!!!