Wednesday, December 1, 2004

You might be familiar with a very old Scottish tune; one that often times brings a tear to one's eye and a sentimental thought to one's heart at least once a year. It is probably the most well-known song worldwide and is sung in every English-speaking country to begin each new year. You've guessed it by now: it's Auld Lang Syne. But did you know the tune itself means "old long tune" or simply "the good old days"? You knew that?

But did you also know that the Auld Lang Syne was partially written by Robert Burns in the year 1788, and was first published in 1796 after Burn's death? Early variations of the song was sung prior to 1700 and inspired Robert Burns to produce the modern rendition.

Many of us known at least one stanza and most of the refrain, but in case you would like to know more of the song and its original Scottish text, here it is:

English Translation Scottish Original Text

We two have paddled in the stream
From morning sun (noon) until dinner-time but seas between us broad have roared since old long ago

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne

Should old acquaintances be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should ald acquaintances be forgot,
For old long ago

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago



For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld Langsyne,
We’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And there is a hand my trusted friend
And give me a hand of yours
And we will take of a good drink/toast
For old long ago

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

I thought it be suiting at the beginning of December - and the final turn of the corner into 2005 - to present a friendly reminder to each of us of the importance of our relationships and friendships. There is no better time of the year to remember the journeys that have intersected ours and offer thanks for their influence in our life.

Over the years I've tried to make it a personal habit never to be able to stand on New Year's Eve and sing Auld Lang Syne, knowing that I've forgotten an old or dear acquaintance. From the Mike LaFonds of high school to the Jay Petersons of college and from the Emily Troshynskis of supervisees to the Warren Hales of supervisors, I may not remain in personal contact with each of them, but they are remembered in spirit and prayers.

For each of us, the sea of years between us and our friends/acquaintances have stormed and swelled. We've all been tossed around and separated from friendships based in past years of calm water. Friendships are only tested in the tempest... and then the storm settles...

This season, prior to New Year's Eve, identify one person whom you have had every intention of getting back in touch with - and do it. Find them - somehow, someway. Just say hello and that you were thinking about them. That's all - nothing extravagant. Just be yourself, as you are now, and let them be who they are now.

"And there is a hand my trusted friend, and give me a hand of yours. And we will take of a good drink/toast, for old long ago..."

hoedl's haven
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