It’s the last week of the year. In 6 days we will write a new number at the end of the date. On one hand, it’s about darned time – 2016 gave many of us some fits! On the other hand, so many moments of 2016 were so very rich and sustaining for my soul that I can barely stand to see it go.
There’s a quiet this week, like that moment between the shifting of the wind, when leaves still and waters calm. What was boisterous in the world a moment ago is now at peace, and the hustle of the new year has not yet begun. We find ourselves between acts, processing what we’ve just seen and expectant about what is to come.
One of my favorite movies when my kids were younger was Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. At first glance it’s a fun, silly little film about a mysterious toy shop proprietor played by Dustin Hoffman and his young assistant played by Natalie Portman, whom he is grooming to take over his business.
But it’s the depth of the dialogue – specifically from Mr. Magorium to his apprentice – that struck the deepest chord with me. Never one to pass up an opportunity to impart wisdom, he speaks truth to Molly Mahoney even in the unexpected moments. In one exchange, just after they’ve set all the clocks in a shop forward to strike noon at the same time, Mr. Magorium speaks to this “between acts” time.
Mr. Magorium :: “37 seconds.”
Molly Mahoney :: “Great. Well done. Now we wait.”
Mr. Magorium :: “No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.”
Here in this last week of December it’s easy to let this week slip away without much attention. For some, the temptation is to simply wait for the stroke of midnight this Saturday – to coast into the new year without purpose or intent. For others the much stronger temptation is to plan and list and arrange and stress about everything which has not yet come. Perhaps the proper approach is something different. Perhaps the best approach is much more “Magoriumian” in nature.
And so we wait. We breathe, we pulse, we regenerate, we beat, we create, and we ingest. One week, well used, is a lifetime.
Which brings to mind one last Mr. Magorium quote to close :: “We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery.”
So bring it on, 2017. In just short of one week’s time, we’ll be ready for you.
Happy New Year.