Normally, New Year’s Eve is a time for revelry and celebration.
One great example is the annual ritual conducted in Times Square in New York City. Since 1907, throngs of partyers have gathered in the dead of winter on the last day of the year to watch an iconic Ball-lowering ceremony that has become an international phenomenon. At precisely 11:59 p.m., a dazzling ball descends down a pole while the crowd – along with millions of people tuning in from home – count down the final seconds of the year to greet and celebrate the start of a new year.
But we don’t live in normal times right now – not when a global pandemic has claimed the lives of over 330,000 Americans; our teetering health care system is being overwhelmed in many states; our economy is in shambles with millions pushed into poverty; and our politics have become so polarized that even our democracy is under attack. Traditions do die hard, of course, so yes, in case you missed it, the Ball-lowering ceremony in Times Square did take place two nights ago. But the event bordered on the surreal because other than several hundred first responders spaced apart by barricades, the streets were peopleless.
So against this background, I had to decide what image to use for my first post in 2021. While I’m usually decisive, this wasn’t an easy choice to make. Granted, the most tumultuous year in memory has ended and vaccinations for the coronavirus are in the pipeline – but these aren’t things to really celebrate. So I ultimately played it safe and, for several reasons, picked “Morning Fog” for the featured image.
First of all, partner Carol and I decided months ago that our number one priority during the pandemic is to stay healthy and safe. This provided impetus for choosing a noncontroversial image – and a serene shot of sailboats in a quiet harbor surely meets that prerequisite.
Second, I wanted to use a local image because if Carol and I have to hunker down during a pandemic, we can’t think of any better place to be than Bainbridge Island. (The dock depicted in the featured image is just two miles from our home.) Hopefully, you feel the exact same way about wherever you may be hunkered down.
And third, I wanted an image reflecting calm. Right now, calm is good – and still sailboats resting on placid water in a mysterious morning mist struck just the right mood for me. While I’m optimistic 2021 will ultimately prove to be a rebound year for the world, I’m not going to celebrate anything until there is good reason to do so.
If you like “Morning Fog,” it’s one of the many images available in the Panoramas gallery of our online store, and many similar images are available at our brick-and-mortar store in Bainbridge Island. If you happen to be in our neck of the woods, please stop by for a visit! But if you instead want to stay hunkered down as we plod our way through the next stage of the pandemic, we will completely understand – and we of course hope that you and everyone in your world stays healthy, safe, and strong.
Ciao for now,
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh