Last night there was a cacophony starting around six in the evening of firecrackers, sparklers, rockets and full-blown fireworks. While fireworks started with the Chinese thousands of years ago, clearly the entire continent has picked up the tradition in the meantime, and even though the Chinese won’t celebrate the new year until the end of this month, there were plenty of people making plenty of noise last night. The old idea was to scare away evil spirits and to bring good luck, but I think now it’s mostly just to see who can make the loudest bang. Starting the day after Christmas, people line up at city hall to buy permits so they can send off up to five thousand of the things. You read that right: five thousand. And I think I heard every one of them within a five-mile radius.
We had a cook-out with our next door neighbors last night, and just before midnight we took our toasting glasses and walked out into the culdesac and listened as midnight roared across Honolulu. It sounded the way I imagine a war zone, and the haze from the smoke, which had been building for six hours, made it hard to see most of them, so we were only aware of flashes away in the clouds and the nearer poppoppop of firecrackers in driveways. We joined in with some sparklers, which I haven’t used since I was a kid, and then went back inside for board games until we finally got too tired to sit up anymore and went home and to bed.
So here we are at January first. I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions, so I have none to list for you here. I am, however, looking forward to the fresh start a new year offers. We’re settled into our house, we’ve gotten into a routine (for the most part), I have a few new things to pursue in terms of long-term career goals, and I know what I need to do to move forward.
New year’s resolutions notwithstanding, I think this year is going to be a good one.