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Updated: May 24

The celebrations would end at dawn,

when the whole village would kneel in silence

before the first rising sun of the year gently waking the winter forest.

But first, now, as every year,

before the music began -

the villagers gathered to receive The Blessing of the Elders.

"We do not wish this village happiness

in the year to come -

or good health,

or abundance,

or even dreams come true!" the elders announced.

The villagers were shocked.

Were the elders about to curse them?

This was certainly a strange and unexpected New Year's Blessing!

"Instead -

we wish this village presence

to the disappointments as well as to the delights to come.

We wish this village alertness

to the seductions of our deviating, conditioned hearts and minds.

We wish every villager self love -

and we wish every villager

the courage to be uncontrollable!"

The villagers laughed - relieved!

They were proud to be wild.

They were proud to belong to the forest.

They were proud to be free.

"Above all -

whatever comes, whatever comes -

we wish for us all

that our hearts soften,

and break open

to the timelessness inside every second,

and the mystery inside the familiar!"

The adults all understood now.

The children were just eager for the party to start.

The Elders nodded their consent to the musicians -

and once again, this year, as every year -

the village danced its dance of gratitude

from midnight to dawn.

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" their bodies declared,

rhythmically, passionately, "for that which now dies - for that which is now reborn”. * Mark the Mystic Activist London, New Year´s Eve 2023/24

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