Last night we bid farewell to 2008 in traditional style with a midnight visit to the local jinja, or Shinto shrine. By stepping through the ring and approaching the shrine itself, we are purified of all negativity and can begin the New Year refreshed and reborn. Today is a day of reflection on the events of 2008. With its highs and lows, it was certainly a tumultuous year but one that brought with it tremendous achievement. I was looking at some photos I took this Xmas, and I drew some satisfaction from noting that for the first time, the whole family was gathered together under our own Christmas tree in our own house. From nothing but a crazy dream, we have created something quite wonderful – a house filled with love and happiness. 2008 was the year that saw that dream come true.
For all its trials and desperate moments, I will always remember 2008 for this and be thankful; Thankful to all those people that helped us achieve our dream, and thankful to the guardian spirits of our family for bringing us the good luck that helped us on our way. Fare thee well 2008 and thank you. I pray that 2009 will be as kind to us.