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A Woman's Journal


Where It Begins

By Maggie Turner

January 1, 2000

Where It Begins

Coffee, I have been looking forward to my first cup of coffee in the new century/millennium. Hot and sweet, I take my first sip. Now, this moment, is my beginning.

I welcome you to the first day of the new year/decade/century/millennium! There is some debate as to when the new millennium begins; it depends on when you started counting. If you would like to know when I started counting, you can simply count backward from today. It works for me; it is based on the fuzzy logic of which I am so fond. I will be celebrating the first day of the new millennium again with those who count backward from a different day.

Attila and I spent the day yesterday watching the New Year slowly surround the planet with ceremony. The first humans to greet the New Year did so on Millennium Island, Kiribati. People around the world watched the open fire dancing in the wind as the old man lit a torch. A child standing in the firelight watched as the flame was captured from the fire by the torch. The child's eyes shone as the old man carried the flame towards him to place the torch in his hand. The old man, as he held the torch out to the child, spoke these words, "My dear child, take this torch of peace and hope from Kiribati, so it will light the world."

Maori chanted as the sun rose on the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Later at Ayr's Rock, Uluru, Australia, the Millennium Birth Dance was performed to greet the sun.

This morning I awoke to grey light; the sun had not yet risen. I pulled on heavy boots, threw a parka over my pajamas, and headed out to the back yard. Many were up before me. I watched as no less than eight squirrels frolicked in the neighbors yard. Blue Jays flew into the maple tree, chasing away the other birds; the squirrels ignored them. As I stood watching in the cold, crisp air, the sun slowly reached out to touch with gold the topmost tendrils of the trees. The sun worked its way down the tree trunks. I went into to the house to fill a dish with sunflower and flaxseeds. Returning to the yard, I distributed the seeds along its perimeter.

Later this morning I made a sacrifice to the gods. I reverently pulled the plug in the bathtub, my arm up past my elbow in cold clear water. As the water began it's descent into the pipes of no return I gave a thought to the profession that fixed its own mistakes in time to save the world. I wondered at the achievements of the managers who orchestrated the miracle. Then, I ritually turned on the shower and felt the hot water of success cleanse me, offering me forgiveness for my sin of doubt.

The first rituals of my new millennium have been performed, all that remains is to enjoy this first bright day.


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