"We have a whole new year ahead of us, and wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy - and maybe next year at this time, we'd like each other a little bit more..."
Oh, I know. Someone wrote it for her, and she read the words, turning the really rather ordinary sentiment into something more than that only through the indomitable force of her own personality - but as we see the old year out, it's far from the worst that one could hope for this new and unknown thing, 2013.
It's only this year struck me that I'm older, now, than Judy Garland ever got to be. Through the years turned out to be not so very long for her, although of course for us as listeners, fans, appreciators, she has more than kept her word.
As I look forward at my own second half-century, through the years is no longer the infinite parade of possibilities it once seemed, while all the years behind stretch further and further away. Still, as we teeter on this annual threshold between past and future, through this state of what anthropologists call liminality, I know there's so much more to rejoice for than to pine about, and at midnight tonight, we'll raise a glass to what possibilities remain and toast the year that's been. If nothing else, it's brought us safe this far.
New Year's Eve is a reminder that we're all, in the end, in the same boat, striking out from familiar waters into something new and strange. Here's to us, through the years, with high hopes for the year to come.