Other Tales Class of 59 Tales Christmas 1999 and New Mellennium 2000

English Christmas pies (Judy) || Christmas memories (Dale) || Christmas in Udgir (David W) || Christmas memories (Winn) || Sights and Sounds of December in Mali (Joanne) || Re: Christmas memories (Jack) || Re: Christmas memories (Gail) || First Footing (Dale) One world, one celebration (Gil)

Subject: [Re: stories of time / chat] English mince pies
From: Judy
Date: Thrus 16 Dec 1999

Hey lovely people -- it's me Judy, with you in spirit even though I rarely get a chance to add messages. I enjoy reading about your thoughts and experiences, so keep them coming!

Life in England, where to begin? When we moved her 24 years ago we thought we'd stay for 5 years, but here we are in the middle of building an extension (my piano, shipped from America, was too large for small English rooms -- so much for the "free" piano I inherited!) and enjoying small village life 30 mins. from London (hint hint -- a late train service means that you can stay with us, in the serenity of slowly growing brussels sprouts, and STILL experience London night life).

I had real adjustment problems when I first came, having adjusted well to other foreign countries, this one was too similar to U.S. to be "foreign" but it wasn't U.S. either. By recognising (note spelling) that I was still in a foreign country, I could adjust happily to the our grim Bedfordshire villager whose heart, once they accepted me, was loyal and warm. Actually John, a Sheffield steel man from the rough end of the city, also found it difficult to adjust.

I'm in charge of the adult education programme (note spelling, boy am I Anglicised!) for this area and absolutely LOVE trying to convince these toughened villagers (who still think that education is for rich snobs and should stop at age 16) that learning is lifelong, and learning is for THEM. If you're not learning you're not fully human, I keep telling them. If you want examples of that, just go to the nursing homes where food, warmth and clothing are readily available but everyone's minds are dead because they're not learning. That's enough about me.

The Christmas season fast approacheth -- there will be carol singing and Christmas Eve services at midnight, and lots of turkey, and a Christmas pudding ignited in brandy with a sprig of holly on top (used to be called plum pudding, and I was surprised because there aren't any plums in it at all, but plums in this case means "sugar plums", another word for raisins). Another tradition is mince pies, tiny little ones, really fiddly to do at this busy time of year. Why does everyone spend hours cutting tiny circles of pastry, filling them with mincemeat, and putting tiny lids of pastry on top? I ask myself. Got the answer: These used to be oval shaped and represented the baby Jesus in the manger with a blanket over him. However when Puritans went to the States this was seen as idolatry, but they did hanker after their mince pies, so they made big ones, the kind we eat at Thanksgiving. The old recipes still have meat in them -- as in America -- but the Brits seem horrified at the thought of meat in their mincemeat! On the other hand, the word "mince" means ground beef. Just some of the difference in language usage.

Look how long this is already! I send love to you all, and wish you all the very happiest of holidays. If I have a chance over the vacation, I'll tell you more about our millennium celebration which starts at 10 p.m. and includes seeing in the new year, games, etc. and finishing with a Crack of Dawn Breakfast Barbecue (for which, as usual, I'll be responsible for muffins), and considering the time the sun gets up around here, that could be as late as 10 a.m.! (Yes, we are on the same latitude as Siberia).


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4:20 AM
Dec 99
Subject: Christmas memories
From: Dale

class59: Christmas memories
I thought this letter, which my sister Karen received on her Woodstock '62 e-group line, might spark a few memories among us.

Certainly David's (he was evidently known as "Waggie" at Woodstock -- some of you may remember him, I don't) memories of Christmas Day at home are very akin to mine of the late '40s and early '50s in Bangalore, especially the care with which we hung the tinsel icicles on the tree and then removed them and stored them away till the next year! (I still do!!) My brother Karl and I had a discussion one year about it and concluded people could be divided into two kinds of tree decorators -- those who put the icicles on one at a time (obviously anal personalities) and those who couldn't be bothered and put them on in hunks and handfuls. I've gotten a little bit better and sometimes now put them on two or even three at a time, though I always start out one by one!

I also remember my mother saying how hard it was to find Christmas presents for us 4 kids then. Our Christmas morning "ceremony" involved the servants coming in, with garlands for Mother and Dad, to receive their presents -- no holiday for them, even though our bearer was a Catholic.

We never participated in celebrations with villagers like David describes. Most likely because, as non-missionaries, we did not have that sort of (indeed any) relationship with the Indian Christian community. It sounds wonderful!

Merry Christmas to all of you. And when you've finished with the turket et al, let's have some of your reminiscences!

Love, Dale

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From: DavidHWagner
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 1999 2:01 AM
To: Barbara ..... Woodman
Subject: Christmas in Udgir

The Tree || The Food || Song


It being the season that it is, here's some reminiscing about what Christmas was like in India. For most of us boarding school kids it was a real family event, the main one, since the rest of the year's major holidays were spent up at Woodstock. Easter and the like were very American because the traditions we followed matched the majority of students at Woodstock. Christmas was different; I'm sure pretty near unique for each one of us, depending on the church and community in which it was located. My family's home was in Udgir, an overgrown village 130 miles NNE of Hyderabad, in what is now Maharashtra State. When we first went there, before Indian Independence, it was within Hyderabad State, a princely kingdom governed by the Nizam of Hyderabad. The nearest European family with children was farther away than we ever traveled in the winter (never called winter but known as the cold season, to be followed by the hot season and then the monsoons and then the cold season again).


The tree was the most American part of our Christmas. We had a fold-up artificial tree that was carefully set out each Christmas Eve. I can remember only that one tree in all the time I was growing up. It was trimmed with ornaments also carefully stored. There were no K-marts to dash down to for more shiny balls. I remember icicles that were supposed to glow in the dark, pretty colored strands like garlands, and the tinsel strips that were placed on very carefully, one by one. (They were removed just as carefully after Christmas was over, draped over a cardboard and packed away tenderly in a box that was becoming quite worn at the corners.) Our tree was over-decorated by my current standards.

Our presents were placed under the tree late that evening. When I was very small, Santa would come while I slept. My older brothers eventually got to participate in Santa's work and then I did it when I was in high school.

We had devotions by the tree on Christmas morning, sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, and opened the presents. Our presents were pretty modest, since what was available in the bazaar in Udgir was pretty modest. What I remember are the little poems that presaged what was in each present. Stan was particularly good at them. The idea was to try to guess what was in the present from what was written on the label. It was more fun to read the labels than actually unwrapping the combs, toy drums, and tongue scrapers that we exchanged as gifts. The presents were easy to unwrap because we used no tape, but carefully tied up them up with ribbon. Ribbon was rolled up and the paper folded carefully for use year after year. As I said, there was no K-mart around for a fresh supply.

The tree was a great wonder to the Indians who were invited in to see it. They saw nothing like it anywhere else. It helped emphasize that this was a VERY special time of the year for us. There were many gatherings in our house at that time of year.


The greatest of the gatherings, however, took place outside where we had great feasts. My father would fire up the Homelite generator to power up the electric lights strung up for the occasion. Public electricity didn't come to Udgir until some years after I left, about the time the main road was paved.

Because it was a gathering of Christians, we often had beef available. It was never called beef by the time it got to Udgir, but "mota mutton," meaning "big goat." We could get it in Hyderabad where there was a Muslim community that supported butchers of cows. The feasts I remember best were prepared by a Muslim cook hired for the occasion. He brought the spices and the huge pots, three or four feet across at the middle, in which the biriyani was prepared. I used to love to hang out by the open air cooking station, watching the whole process. I've never had better food than what was prepared there over a wood fire. The biriyani was pressure cooked by means of rocks placed on the lid, sealed tight with a gasket of dough. The special cook's treat was that dough which cooked up into a distinctively flavored bread as the biriyani simmered. When the meal was ready, the gasket bread was reserved for the cook and his helpers, who ate apart from the rest of us.

Everybody sat down in rows on cotton carpets. The biriyani was scooped into wicker baskets and carried down the line by young men who served it onto pieces of banana leaf, much more recyclable than paper plates! Beyond a little liquid fire, probably not much more than ground chillies boiled in water, few side condiments were served at these feasts. That biriyani, however, needed no accompaniments. As far as I am concerned, it was a dish created in heaven. I don't remember the sweets, though there always were some at the end of the meal. And tea.

The feasts at home were far outdone by the feasts in the villages. We lived in a rural area, one of the poorest in India. The Christian community was scattered around Udgir, localized in villages here and there across a broad landscape of the Deccan Plateau. It was a great honor to stage a Christmas feast with the Wagners invited as respected guests. How I loved those feasts! As I understood it, it was the only time of the year that my father permitted the villagers to feed us so this was the big kachunga (not a Marathi word). We attended a half-dozen or more of these feasts each Christmas season.

The people, mostly women of course, would spend days preparing. When I was really small it was possible to sit around in the kitchen with the women and watch them prepare the meal while the adults--menfolk--were outside holding worship services or conducting other business. Spices were ground on stone slabs like the Mexican metate', whose Marathi name I forget. Ginger and tumeric were used as fresh, whole roots and helped make the curry paste moist as all spices were pulverized together. The raw rice--chawal--was flipped on a wicker tray and cleaned. When cooked it is bhat, remember? Likewise the lentils and other gram were tossed into the air to remove chaff and then picked over by nimble fingers. Chickens were killed and defeathered after scalding. (How many American kids know that you need to put one foot on the legs and one on the pulled-back wings before slicing the neck of a chicken, so it doesn't flop around like a chicken with its head cut off?) After cleaning, everything including head and feet went into the curry.

A typical, favorite meal began with "porun poli." It was like beginning ith dessert. Flat breads made with a middle layer of sweetened gram flour were torn into little pieces and dipped into hot, sweet, spiced milk. The skill needed to make those polis was awesome. They started with a ball of dough--jawari, not wheat flour--and formed a cup in the top. A paste of sweetened, spiced gram flour (besan) was pressed into the cup and the cup sealed into a ball around it. Then it was rolled out into a flat bhakker (flat bread) less than a quarter inch thick. This rolling out, so you had a thin, three-layer bread without breaking the outer layer, was amazing to watch. Years of practice, years of practice... Cooked without oil on a tawa over glowing, dried cowdung until proper browned, with blackened spots where bubbles formed. Meanwhile, the sweet milk was brought to a simmer with cloves and cardamom, gently so it didn't scald or burn.

The main course was the chicken curry served over rice. Like made with fire it was, and then you could make it hotter by asking for the fire water. I remember being the special guest of honor, the youngest one of the guests, and being ceremoniously awarded the head of the chicken. I was not dismayed but will not disturb the tender sensibilities of readers by describing how I approached eating this treat. Eating many plates of food was considered proper...

And then the sweets and tea....

Although the just described feast was typical, I remember also eating in an open field with some Lamani who had converted to Christianity. Lamani are gypsies, I suspect of the same stock as the Romany of Europe (Lamani and Romany being probably of identical linguistic origin.) The Lamani were nomads, operating as migrant laborers. Also accused of operating slyly, like gypsies everywhere. Anyway, they were people of few possessions and no land. The women, however, were of spectacular appearance because all family wealth was worn as jewelry. Necklaces of coins and rows of gold earrings and nose rings were especially prominent.

In our area they were employed around Christmas mainly to harvest peanuts. Peanuts were harvested by hand, after a plow and harrow had been drawn through the field when the legumes were ready. After a field had been harvested to the farmer's satisfaction, there were always peanuts left in unbroken clods of dirt for gleaners to break out with pottery shards. In hard times the harvested fields were picked over again and again for a handful of peanuts. So the Lamani knew how to work peanuts...

I mention this to recall the meal we had with them, where everything-- drinks, sweets, chutney, curry, breads-- was made with peanuts. Variously spiced, textured, and cooked, yet all based on peanuts. It was a delicious, amazing feast. I recall having this meal only once, when I was a teenager, never to be forgotten.


It might seem odd to some that, for a preacher's kid, Christmas was not a time of intensive worship for me. There were, indeed, numerous worship services that I attended faithfully with my parents. However, they were all conducted in Marathi of a level I was unable to understand. My grasp of Marathi was practical, good for finding my way around and meeting basic needs. I could never read the Bible in Marathi nor understand the liturgy nor the sermons. My skill was in sitting quietly, knowing when to stand up, sit down, kneel and fold my hands for prayer. Although forgotten now, I could recite aloud the Lord's Prayer in Marathi. Meaningful worship was restricted to private family devotions.

The spiritual experience that I relish in my memory is the joyous song the Marathawadas loved. I'm not referring to the hymns in the church services, fine as they were. I'm recalling the bhajan mandele, the song fests that followed the feast and worship service after the feast. We would eat, get preached at, and then get ready to sing. A typical bhajan had somebody with a harmonium, a tabla player, and a half-dozen or so guys with chingas, little high-pitched cymbals. It was necessary to have one person who could read and lead. The leader was the one who knew the tunes. He would hold the song book up and sing out the first line and then everybody would repeat after him. He would hold up the song book up to show he could read, even though he knew most of the songs by heart. Some of the song leaders were incredible virtuosos, each village having a favorite. You didn't have to know Marathi to participate, just listen and sing out what you just heard. At the top of your singing voice. Hundreds of voices all in unison.

I loved it. To this day, I can bring out of my memory my favorite Marathi Christmas songs, which I vocalize gleefully when nobody can hear me. Or even when they can hear me, sometimes. It takes me back to those bhajans that went on all night long. The Petromax would run out of fuel and a lantern brought for the song leader to see the words of the song book. I'd finally get so tired I'd go back to the jeep and fall asleep on the back seat. I wouldn't remember the drive home nor getting put to bed.

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9:02 AM
Dec 99
Subject: Re: Christmas memories
From: winles

class59: Re: Christmas memories
Naya Saal Mubarak Ho!  (for Urdu speaking classmates)

The Y2k bug, "the flu", has hit early.   London is the  flu 'hot spot' in Canada and many of the family were sick over the holidays. My hospital is also in quarantine. And there was no Christmas caroling under the full moon on the 22nd.

David Wagner's memories evoked many of mine. Christmas celebrations were a community affair in our remote village in Central India  and  I still miss that aspect. The most authentic Christmas pageant took place on the 24th., at the church.  We had no electricity, so many lanterns were lit.. A fire was built on a tin slab, inside the church so the 'shepherds' could huddle around it . Many live goats were part of the scene. Kay and I were the only  white kids and  were usually chosen to be the 'angels'. ( I can still say my part by memory!)  Then the ''wisemen' would parade  down the isle, wearing our dressing gowns,  and 'tea cozies' on their heads.  It was a wonderful re-enactment!
Late into the night we would help our Mom wrap gifts for every church family--a shirt or dress piece for every child, a calendar and a bag of 'guur' (brown sugar). Meanwhile every household remained awake , baking sweets an savories for Christmas Day. At about 4 am., one family would go to his neighbours and sing carols, they would join in and go to the next. By  6am., the whole congregation was at our bungalow to sing and greet us.  Throughout breakfast, families would arrive with fresh coconut patties and other goodies.

Some years we has 'live' Christmas trees (often 'emely), or a small artificial tree. One  year Kay and I got roller skates as gifts  from the States.  The news traveled fast and people came from miles around to see them.  The adventurous wanted to try them, but couldn't because they had no shoes.

Every one wore new clothes to church. After the service ,Santa came to give out the gifts. As a child I often wondered and questioned why Santa had a white face ,(the mask), but had black hands! As the years went by, Santa's face got more moth eaten! A leper colony was our neighbour.  The whole group  stood  waiting outside the church , for special gifts.

Meanwhile, two large goats were tethered to a fence.  We petted  and fed them for several days.  After church we gathered with  other kids to watch, with morbid fascination ,while the men cut off the goats heads and prepared the meat for curry. The women pounded out spices on large stones outside and cleaned the rice. We children gathered dry cow manure patties for the fires.

While dinner cooked. my Dad organized the Christmas games and competitions. There were many foot races, wheel barrow races, running with eggs on a spoon, etc.  The most fun was the archery competition! The Bhil tribe carried bows and arrows as part of their dress and were  good archers.( Many an argument was settled that way.)  It takes surprising strength to pull the  bow string and the folk  use to laugh heartily to see the 'white man's'  poor performance!

Bullock carts arrived in the afternoon bringing Christians from other villages, for the communal dinner. Sometimes I would help to make 'disposable' plates for the visitors. Three or four banyan leaves would be held together with several thorns. Wasn't that a great idea!

We sat in family groups in a huge circle on the ground and servers came around with the rice and goat curry, followed by chai. I can taste it now!

This is my memory of Christmas for the first 15 years of  life.  Ever since, my family has always celebrated  Christmas Eve with a Hindustani Khana.

     Love to all!     Winn

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7:40 PM
Dec 99
Subject: Sights and Sounds of December in Mali
From: Joanne

class59: Sights and Sounds of December in Mali
There are no outward signs in Mali that Christmas is on its way.  December 1st finds me creating a little Christmas for myself.  I play tapes copied from the radio during Christmases in the States.  My favorites are from Christmas week, 1988.  That year I managed to record Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Messiah, and The Nutcracker.  I play these tapes in my car as I ride around town.  The weather updates are amusing--as I look out on bright sun and dust.  The news bullitins are a reminder of the concerns of past years.  Once I actually panicked on hearing "it is now 6:45 PM" thinking I was late for an appointment!

Early in December the traffic was backed up going into town.  I noticed the covered pickup in front of me had a peculiar load.  Large hunks of freshly killed cow were piled in the back. Five or six other passangers were crowded around the meat on its way to market.  The cow's head was hanging out the back of the truck--it's ear swaying gently in time to the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" playing in my car.

During worship in Falanni I enjoyed the drumming and singing even though our group finds the few translated Christmas carols impossible to sing--the melodies and timing being so different from their own music.  But  worship and celebration are not missing.  When the nearly blind village chief payed us a visit, someone tried to help him to a seat.  But no, he didn't want to sit, his feet shuffled as he danced to our singing.   Glancing up from my seat on a low bench  I saw straight under John's truck parked in front of the door.  A dozen pair of little feet were dancing in the dust.  The village childen had left their playing to dance to our hymns.

For two Sundays we read together and commented on the Christmas story as found in Mathew and Luke.  We've known these stories since childhood and forget the number of confusing details--which angel said what to whom; are we refering to Baby Jesus or Baby John, etc.  At least this year no one responded to "...and here's the baby in a manger" with "Do you mean a donkey baby?"

December nights are cold--especially in the village.  The temperatures are in the low 60's.  Last weekend we crawled  gratefully into our sleeping bags after a long, chilly evening of stories and chatting.  When I straightened my bed the next morning I found I wasn't the only one glad for a warm night's rest.  The zipper is torn at the foot of the sleeping bag and a mouse had made himself a soft nest of munchings from the lining!

Last Tuesday the Bamako Cathedral choir performed at the French Cultural Center.  What a special evening!  While prepared to enjoy ANY tribute to Christmas, I was totally unprepared for their excellent performance.  Thirty-five singers--mainly students from various West African countrys studying at the university here--sang a wide variety of music: traditional English carols, Silent Night in 3 languages, praise songs in French, Bambara and Ki-Congo, and popular songs such as "We are the World."  They took the time to explain to the audience how 4 part harmony works, this not being a part of the music here.

A few Sundays ago an old man came to worship for the first time.  At prayer time he said: "I've been noticing how God answers your prayers.  I was sick last week.  I prayed in Jesus' name and have come to tell you I was healed."  Brehma fellowshipped with us throughout the Christmas weekend.

We were all together in Mountougoula the evening of the 24th through the afternoon of the 25th.  We sang, played, and worshipped together with many from the village participating at one time or another.  The believers' wives came and cooked 70 pounds of rice with veggies and meat for each of  two meals.  The food was served in big dishpans that were scattered about on the ground outside our house.  Five or six people gathered around each bowl, washing their hands in a bucket of water passed from one to another, and then eating 'by hand' from the dishpan.

The 26th we had a very different Sunday worship in Falanni.  For the first time we had a baby naming following traditional Malian practices rather than dedicating the baby in our small group.  We met in the believers' courtyard and invited the family members and villagers.  We dedicated the baby, being sure the many visitors understood and were included.  Afterwards we had a big meal.  Our visitors were very appreciative and we had good fellowship.

Several weeks ago a griote (praise singer) from the village of Dara surprised us by coming to our service in Jala.  As a griote her role is to lead out in village functions, encouraging the speakers, creating enthusiasm, etc.  Our prayer time was lively with her there.  "Amen, amen!"  she called out.  "May God do it, may he do as you ask."   Afterwards she gave us many traditional blessings and this proverb:  "If you keep dancing in this manner, you will soon have many dancing with you!"  May God do it!!

Bamako, MALI

"All will be well...and every kind of thing will be well."
      --Julian of Norwich

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10:46 AM
Dec 99
Subject: Re: Christmas memories
From: Jack

class59: Re: Christmas memories

Dale, thanks for passing on David Wagner's Christmas recollection.

In the course of my genealogy pursuits, I discovered that David and the other Wagners are my fourth cousins; our great-grandparents were first cousins. While our parents did not know each other growing up, both came out of the strong missionary-oriented soil of central Maryland.

More recently I discovered that about 13 generations back there is an interesting story of our common ancestor Giles Brent who married an Indian princess, Mary Kittamaquund, daughter of the Tapac of the Piscataways, for her property (and ditched her once Lord Baltimore's courts said the Indians had no property rights). In the course of things a daugther was born, from whom we are descended. So David Wagner and the other Wagners, and my sister Vivia and I, and any number of others, are 1/4032 part Piscataway Indian.

Jackson, Independent Consultant,

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11:04 AM
Dec 99
Subject: Re: Christmas memories
From: Gail P

class59: Re: Christmas memories

I found the story of your Indian ancestors very interesting. Supposedly, I am descended (through my mother's side) from a Mohawk Indian princess named Molly Brant, who married Charles Johnson, an officer in the British army around the time of the Revolutionary War. There was even a book written about their love story, called "Lady of the Mohawks." I am 1/32 Mohawk, I think. I'm not sure I'm proud of this, given what I know of the Mohawks.


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Subject: Re: First footing in Scotland
From: Dale
Date: Wed 8 Dec 1999

The tradition of first footing is still popular, especially in rural areas, where people go from house to house on Hogmanay. In cities, it will probably only be done among friends/neighbors, but in the recent past in Edinburgh, I've been told, you could go into any house still lit up after midnight. Traditionally, you should carry something indicating light and warmth (coal or a candle) and a bit of bread or oatcake, and of course a dram of whisky (note that in Scotland it never has an "e" -- the Irish variety does). The "first foot", for luck, should be a tall dark male; presumably someone short, redhaired, or female would not bring good luck!

I remember going back to our house in Bangalore -- which was a lovely colonial style house with all the porches screened in -- in 1969 (we'd left in 1954), to find it had been turned into a guest house. All the screens were gone, and most of the rooms were filled with numerous beds -- each with a mosquito net, which we'd never needed. I never could understand why the screens hadn't been preserved/replaced, so nets wouldn't have been necessary.

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12:19 PM
Subject: One world, one celebration
From: Gil

class59: One world, one celebration
What an amazing party that was!

I stayed up until 2 am New Year's eve morning in order to see the millennium come to New Zealand, Tonga and Kiribati. I was so enchanted by what I saw that I only slept five hours before resuming my celebration watching just as the millennium reached China and I stayed up again last night until after 1 am when it reached Alaska. PBS Millennium

The enormous variety of our human cultures all celebrating one event together moved me deeply. I watched the Inuit who have just gotten control of their own territory in the frozen north of Canada send greetings to aboriginees in the hot summer sun in Australia who have just gotten control of some the land around Ayer's rock. I saw a choir singing on a glacier in southern Argentina and a choir singing in the Amazon rain forest of Venezuela, the country that has just suffered so terribly from flooding. I saw crowds celebrating at the Katab Minar in Delhi and at the Washington monument in this country. I saw Lapplanders in northern Norway wearing reflective aluminum foil aprons so as not to melt the musical instruments made out of ice that they were playing and I saw the Eiffel Tower exploding from top to bottom in fireworks and lights.

Two events, particularly, left me in tears. One was seeing Nelson Mandela bring in the the New Year by lighting a candle in the cell on Robben's Island where he spent so many years. The other was seeing people in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and people in Derry in Northern Island singing Danny Boy together.

And everywhere I saw children. I think I saw clearly for the first time just how beautiful the children of the world all are. I know we have all the same problems today as we did two days ago but somehow I feel more hopeful.

For the New Year I offer you these words by the theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr:

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
therefore we are saved by hope.

Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any
immediate context of history,
therefore we are saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone,
therefore we are saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our
friend or foe as from our own view,
therefore we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

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