Welcoming the Year of the Water Dragon

I went to a celebration for the Tibetan New Year tonight. According to their calendar, the year is 2139. Like many Asian cultures, the Tibetans ascribe to the 12-year cycle of animals (ox, rat, dog, etc.) that describe the quality of the year; to this they also attach an element, e.g. water, wind, fire, earth. Some systems also attach male or female to the year as well. This year is the year of the Water Dragon. This is an auspicious combination.

In many Asian cultures, the dragon symbolizes the union of heaven and earth, and further represents growth and prosperity. Water symbolizes sustenance and magnetizing energy; since the dragon’s natural element is wood, and water nurtures wood, there is also the aspect of nurturing that comes into play as well. It is said to be a very powerful combination. This also marks the first time in quite a while that the elements have been in harmony with the animal. We are therefore supposed to be at the start of a 12-year cycle of luck. There was also advice given that, as with any new beginning, one should try to let go of past negativity and move into the new year with the sense of a fresh start that is open and positive. We should let go of bad habits, and I can certainly think of a few that need to be wiped away.

Perhaps the symbolism is significant in my life already. There were actually two ceremonies I attended today, one in the morning that included a liturgy for the new year, and then the aforementioned one in the evening that included a similar but slightly longer liturgy. Between the two I was mostly home alone. I was a bit concerned as to when and whether I’d be seeing my wife. She texted me mid-afternoon to tell me that she’d be teaching a student at home, and wanted to know if that were okay. I said, “no problem.” She got home about an hour prior to the lesson with a surprise for me: a Japanese-style hot dog. There is a food truck downtown that makes these, and we’d been talking about trying the for a number of months prior to this crisis; there is a shop in Vancouver, BC called Japadog¬†we visited last year that does this, and it was really good. So she passed by the truck here in town and decided to get me a sukiyaki dog. I was very grateful, and told her I had something to share with her: a bottle of Red Arrow root beer. We had a nice enough time; she was cordial but a bit distant.

She had a rehearsal tonight and had arranged for a ride there, but I offered to give her a lift home. I brought the dog with me. She got in the car and gave the dog a kiss. I joked about her giving the dog a kiss but not me. I then took her to her friends’ house, and just gently reminded her that she could always come home. She rejected that idea, of course, and I had expected that. I just felt like I had to put it out there, that’s all. So, it was a positive end to a pretty much positive day.

My aspiration for this new year is one of prosperity, happiness and, of course, reconciliation. I’m realizing that, in many ways, I can be my own worst enemy, and so I am going to try my best to put aside negative habits and actions and to try to come at the world from a place of positivity.