Good morning, and welcome to a new year in Aptos! Many people are all too happy to bid good riddance to 2016. It was certainly a contentious year with seemingly more downs than ups. In Aptos, though, it feels easier somehow to just let it roll off you, like water off a duck’s back.
Late yesterday afternoon, my family headed down to Seacliff State Beach around 4:30 PM. It was a beautiful late afternoon winter day in Aptos. Nary a cloud in the sky, temperatures in the mid-50’s, and a calm, gentle surf breaking on the sand. There were people on the beach – but not many. It gave you a sense of community, of being with people, but with plenty of space for you to soak up the glory of it all in harmonious contemplation.
We sat there on a huge driftwood log, and just watched as the sun sank slowly into the west. We listened to the waves crash on the shore, hearing the seagulls caw as they drifted through the air. We marveled at how much the SS Palo Alto had changed in the past year from last winter’s storms. We listened to a young girl shrieking as she played in the sand nearby with her parents.
And in that moment, all was well. Perfect, actually. We live in such an amazing place. I’ve only lived here a few decades, but I’m pretty sure it was an amazing place 1,000 years ago and will probably be an amazing place 1,000 years in the future. Time marches on, and the Earth will abide. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, we’re here for a good time, not a long time.
That’s why New Year’s is my favorite holiday. A year is something real, something indisputable. You can quibble about when it begins, when it ends, what every day in between means – but in the end, it doesn’t matter. A year is the time it takes the Earth to make one revolution around the sun – and that’s something we all experience, no matter how old or young, rich or poor, black or white, American or Russian or Chinese or Syrian. We only have so many years in our lives – some will have more than others, but time waits for no man. It’s something that ultimately makes us all very equal.
I look at each new new year as a marker, a waypoint. A time to reassess, and think about what I want to do with the time I have remaining, however long that is. I am not making any new resolutions this year – rather, I am just resolved to keep doing what I’ve been doing, only better and with more focus and commitment.
Whatever the new year means to you, I want to wish you and everyone on our big blue marble a warm, prosperous, and peaceful new year. Let’s hope for the best and then all work hard to make it happen. Our children deserve nothing less.