The Wandering Man: Reflections for a New Year
Jan 14, 2013 06:31PM ● Published by Emma Dittmann
By: Tamon Mark Uttech
Where shall I chance to wander for this New Year? This New Year will be wandering through our lives too. You will find no end of the world, no end of days’ scenarios with me. When I was a young boy, I was enthralled with the liturgy in the Lutheran church that my family belonged to. Even when I was nine, I loved to sing about "world without end…" I would hurry home and try to get into the garage without my mother seeing me; I knew she was going to tell me to "take off your suit and put on your play clothes!" But I would get into the garage unseen, set up chairs (for my congregation, you understand) climb up a step ladder with my hymnal and carry on with the service I had just come from. I never got carried away; I never played: 'Cowboys straightening out the heathen Indians.' Now that I have grown up some, even turned to Catholicism, Judaism and Buddhism, I believe in multiplicities; 'worlds' without end. What makes them are all the things that make up this one; oceans and deserts, mountain ranges and deep valleys, to name just a few. And people, all kinds of people, all colors, all ages. With things called mistakes built in. I seem to know that humankind is well known for one simple thing, and that is a tendency to err. A few years ago I stumbled upon a New Year's resolution that allowed me to be perfectly honest; I resolved to make "one less mistake" in the New Year to come. That resolution would help keep me focused on here and now.
Here and Now has seasons too, all four. Here and Now has candles, flags at half-staff, and surprised laughter to see the baby stand up and take a few steps. Here and Now is the closest friend you will ever have, a chance for something new.
"Be ready" is something I heard in a sermon when I was so much younger. It was repeated so often in that long sermon one summer morning that it never fails to bring me back into whatever present moment I am in. As a young adult I heard of 'Beginner's Mind,' the mind full of possibilities. The Beginner's Mind was also called a ready mind, clear like the mind you have when you wake up in the morning. You get up. And then the mind begins to wander and wonder.
The young snowman liked the winter sunshine
it made things sparkle;
it didn't melt anything.
Yes, a happy new year is something like that.