On the first day of 2016, I had cherry pie with my breakfast. It was partly because I was at a diner with my daughter. Aren’t you required to eat pie at a diner? There was another reason I decided to eat it. There’s an old superstition which says that whatever you’re doing on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing throughout the year, so eating pie with someone I love seemed like a good place to start.
We were eating at the Parthenon Diner in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. We were chilly after a failed attempt at seeing the sunrise on New Year’s Day. Of course, the sun rose, but when it did, we realized we were on a beach facing WEST. Or at least that’s what the lame compasses on our phones said. We ran to the car and drove around chasing anywhere facing east where we could catch the sun, to no avail. We saw slivers of it, and finally settled upon a diner breakfast as a substitute year-starter.
The great thing is, that misadventure opened the door to some beautiful and hilarious adventures that day for my daughter and me. We saw more than one waterfall, a castle, a beach, a statue of Jesus, boats, ducks, some very intriguing diner guests, and a lot of each other.
It’s funny. The night before, she was the one who talked me into getting up in the dark to see the sunrise. It had been my idea originally, but I was exhausted from the holidays and a leg injury (that’s another story for another day) and just wanted to sleep in. But when your teenager asks you to do something with them, you say yes. So we left at 5:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
I tried to think of what made me want to see that particular sunrise in the first place. I’m an early riser most days (welcome to your mid-forties, I guess) and I enjoy the sunrise just fine from my warm chair in the den. But for 2016, I guess I wanted to experience something different. And I did. I realize now that the thing I wanted to experience was HOPE.
There’s nothing more hopeful than the start of a new day–a new year. 2015 was a year that I’m grateful for, but that I wouldn’t repeat. Work changes, health changes and the dark and scary news of this world left me feeling tired and discouraged, but so grateful. I am grateful for my family, who stayed by my side, and grateful for my faith that kept the lights on (however dim) when my soul felt dark–just enough light to see my way into 2016.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
Even though the only “sunrise” I saw that day was this street sign, the light of that day shone bright in our hearts. We had so much fun together, and together we experienced so much hope for the year ahead. If the superstition is true, 2016 will be a year filled with surprises, love, adventure, HOPE and pie!
P.S. If anyone’s wondering if this pie lady still makes any pies, I made this one the next day. It’s just an apple pie, but what makes it special is the crumble on top. Its made with butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and almonds. Those chopped almonds added a delightful crunch to this old standard. It’s never too late to try something new, right?
Happy 2016! May this year be full of hope and peace for us all. And pie. Don’t forget the pie.