This lovely poem was translated and sent to me by a reader, Christa Weitbrecht. She gave me permission to share it with you all, as we enter a bright new year.
Recipe for a Happy New Year
by Katharina Elisabeth Goethe
(Mother of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
Take twelve months;
Clean them thoroughly from bitterness, avarice, pedantery, and fear,
Cut each month into thirty or thirty-one equal parts,
So that this stock will last for a whole year.
Each part will be prepared separately
And arranged with one part of working and two parts of cheerfulness and good humour,
Then three big spoons heaped with optimism are added ,
As well as one small spoon of tolerance,
One grain of irony and a pinch of tactfulness.
Finally everything will be flavoured abundantly with lots of love.
It is recommended to adorn this dinner
with small bouquets of attentiveness
and serve it daily with serenity
and a cup of good revitalizing tea.
Thank you so much, Christa, and I raise my cup of good revitalizing tea to you all to wish you a wonderful and productive 2012!
(The clock photo was taken in the Waltham, MA clockworks museum.)