Gazette-Mail editorial: Welcome, 2020

Cheers, tears, prayers for 2020: A new decade is ushered in

A woman poses for photos to celebrate the upcoming New Year in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Relentlessly, time passes, the calendar advances, and nobody can guess what’s coming next. Each new year is a leap into the unknown future. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Planet Earth’s yearly orbit around the sun actually has no starting point, so any day could mark the new year. But today is decreed the beginning of 2020, not just a new year, but a new decade.

In this spirit, we reprint insights about the calendar change and new beginnings:


“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky / The flying cloud, the frosty light / The year is dying in the night / Ring out wild bells and let him die. / Ring out the old, ring in the new / Ring, happy bells, across the snow / The year is going, let him go / Ring out the false, ring in the true.” — Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam


“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.” — Tennyson, Morte D’Arthur


“Dear Posterity: If you have not become more just, more peaceful, and generally more rational than we are (or were) — why then, the Devil take you.” — Albert Einstein, 1936


“No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is the nativity of our common Adam.” — Charles Lamb, London Magazine, 1821


“A year has passed — another has commenced. These solemn divisions of time influence our feelings as they recur. Yet there is nothing in it, for every day in the year closes a twelvemonth as well as the 31st of December.” — Sir Walter Scott, journal


“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” — Harry S. Truman


“On the approach of a New Year, we, too, can believe in something better than experience has justified us in hoping for.” — Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion


“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week, you can begin paving hell with them, as usual.” — Mark Twain


“You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear / Tomorrow’ll be the happiest time of all the glad new year.” — Tennyson, The May Queen


“The New Year, like an Infant Heir to the whole world, was waited for, with welcomes, presents, and rejoicings.” — Charles Dickens, The Chimes


“Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish it on anyone lightly. So let’s just wish each other a bileless New Year and leave it at that.” — Judith Crist, 1966 At Its Worst, Jan. 1, 1967


“Now the New Year reviving old desires / The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.” — The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald


“The roads are very dirty, my boots are very thin / I have a little pocket to put a penny in / God send you happy, God send you happy / Pray God send you a happy New Year.” — old English carol


“Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.” — Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons, 1964


“ ‘A New Year’s gift to the world,’ said the Frost / ‘Rich lace curtains which nothing cost.’ ” — Charles Godfrey Leland, Frost Pictures


“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow.” — Rainer Maria Rilke, letter


“One thing that is new is the prevalence of newness, the changing scale and scope of change itself, so that the world alters as we walk in it.” — J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Dynamics of Change, 1967


“There is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” — Ecclesiastes

Funerals for Monday, January 27, 2020

Davis, Valerie - 11 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Hamrick, Leonard - 1 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Hughes Jr., Denver - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keen, Cora - 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Lazear, Elizabeth - 7 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Masters, Delores - 1 p.m., Glen Ferris Apostolic Church, Glen Ferris.

Milroy, Miller - 11 a.m., Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

Petro, Edith - 11 a.m., Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Phelps, Herbert - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Stanley, Gary - 1 p.m., Pryor Funeral Home, East Bank.

Stewart, Donna - 1 p.m., First United Methodist Church, South Charleston.

Walker, Iva - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Wilkinson, Catharine - Noon, Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor Chapel.

Williams, Joseph - 3 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.