The new year is upon us. Many will sit up, watching the clock walk through the hours and minutes until midnight. It will leave footprints on this moment, then, just before the witching hour, dust off its feet and leave the sands of 2014 to walk through the sands of 2015. This new time is intriguing. I conjure memories of the year 2000, when everyone thought something Earth shattering and/or life transforming would happen to the entire planet. From the religious to the scientific, many felt Earth changes were eminent, whether from their god or technology. As with most beliefs, they fade away into obscurity, as many conveniently forget the passion with which they believed what they imagined was to come. They turn into inconvenient memories that sometimes embarrass and at other times amuse. Then, 2012 became the new milestone. It was not as fervently looked at as a major physical Earth change, but very much a spiritual Earth change for many. I remember these moments. I watched dispassionately as people wondered, believed and feared. Everything about those days became a story in my mind, each a chapter to a book that was writing itself.

As 2015 draws nearer, breathing heavily down the necks of most, I am reminded that this newness we all feel is relative. For some, this is not a new year. Their new year begins at a different time, maybe in July, when the air is hot. For others, the notion of a new year doesn’t exist. They do not live by calendars but instead by the changing seasons. What is new is not the year, but the return of spring and the flower that pushes up through the still chilly soil. Or the fall of red, orange and yellow leaves. Still, for others the new year is the falling snow that blankets the land smooth. This newness is not measured by years, but by the bloom of flowers and the budding of new fruit, the scurrying of squirrels collecting nuts, the birds flying south or the trees naked of leaves. Each new season is their idea of a change worth noting, a year that lasts not twelve months, but two to five months depending on whether one lives above or below the equator.

While the Gregorian calendar marks the new year, I will allow the planet to mark my new year. For me, it is the tell tale signs of spring, the release of energy. When trees begin to bud and cold soil is broken with new life, the air carries with it heat and the smell of warm rain to come, this is my new year. It is when evergreens decide to awaken and bud or bloom. Tonight, I will sit awake and participate in the energy transference so many will exude for their new year. In a few months, I will meditatively watch and wait for the first signs of my new year which I consider to be more transformative and enlivening. Winter was the gathering of energy. Spring is the release of energy. I want to be aware of and ready to receive the beginning of this amazing release. I feel the newness coming. It’s almost here. I can smell it in the wind.