Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 10 (January 1, 1935)

The Opening of 1935

page 10

The Opening of 1935

New Years for Old.

Here's Father Time—as you're alive! — to open Nineteen-thirty-Five; and we shall never, never more, see poor old Nineteen-thirty-Four, so gentlemen and ladys fayre, here's wishing you a glad New Year!

For, on the eve of every New Year, Man calls at the gate for Time to let him glimpse the promise of his new garden; it is still but a promise, for the flowers are yet only in bud, the trees are merely mottled with the soft green shoots which are a promise of the leafy canopy to come. The birds are but preparing to nest, the bees are busy sweeping out their stores to hold the harvest which will be theirs when the flowers fling open the petalled portals of their treasure troves. It is yet but a Garden of Promise, a vista of Anticipation, a place in which to dream of the treasure Time holds in store.

The Stipulation of Anticipation.

For is not life mainly a matter of Remembering, Participating and Anticipating—or living partly in the Past, the Present, and the Future, in proportions commensurate with each individual's capacity? And cannot the Future be as real as the Past and Present, seeing that Thought can be as real as reality? Anticipation is only Thought dressed in its best clothes and coloured with the pigment of human desire.

And so, dear reader (if any), at the gate of this New Year, Anticipation beckons you to enter. The Past has its place; the Present is the arena of Endeavour; but the Future is every man's own garden in which he can plant the flowers of fantasy that please his fancy. His hopes are his own, and nobody but he can pluck them if he guards them as he should.

Time's Treasure.

Time is treasure, expended or unexpended. But it is too precious to measure in mere money. Certainly same say that “Time is Money.” But

If Time were Money, clocks would be Cash-registers for you and me, And we would ne'er be stuck (you've said it!)

For necessary cash and credit. Our clocks indeed would do the trick, By giving us unbounded “tick.” If Time were Money, you and I Would merely watch the hours roll by And, while we sat and watched the clock, it Would drop the doubloons in our pocket.

But even this were not all honey, Unless we lived alone for money.

For Time means Life, and Life is hoping—

Far more indeed than grimy groping

For what is here and gone to-morrow, And what men spend and lend and borrow.

It means an opportunity To sample all the ecstacy— The pain and pleasure, here and hence,— The gift of Life's experience.

Making Happiness Happen.

Experience is the principal of interest, as Expectancy is the essence of Adventure. Hence the thrill of anticipation which accompanies the advent of each New Year! What does it hold? A change of fortune, a streak of luck, prosperity, tranquility, opportunity, happiness? In any case we believe it holds Happiness, because the best way to get Happiness is to make Happiness happen. This should be the most resolute of all New Year resolutions. It is one that covers all. It is a resolution with more than the triumphant transience of ice-cream and acid drops, which provide melting moments with but fleeting flavour. Such resolutions are delusions— a narcotic for keeping the Conscience comatose. They are made on the make-and-break principle.

Such resolutions come and go
Like a fall of summer snow;
None can say and none can know
How they come or why they go.
At the best they merely bring
Temporary whitening
To the conscience, once a year,
Coming but to disappear
quickly, and in every case

page 11

Leaving not the slightest trace.
If you'd catch Ill-Fortune nappin',
Cause your happiness to happen:

New Years and New Yearnings.

Old years are cold years, but new years bring new yearnings. The wages of the Past are cold earnings, but the Future issues a currency coloured with Hope.

Still, there is a time for every one. Old age often lives in the Past; middle age goes fifty-fifty for Present and Future; youth prefers the Present, backing egos before echoes. There is much to be said for each tense. The Past is useful for putting the Present in proper perspective, measuring the march of Progress, and balancing the losses against the gains. There are many things in the Past best forgotten, but there are many others worth remembering.

Horse Sense.

Let's take a glance, perchance, into the Past, and shew the mould in which the Past was cast. The things we mind are horses and the joy of lounging round the stables as a boy. We shed no tear for things beyond our reach, or wish upon the distant past to preach; we know that we are growing old, of course, to wish to speak at all about the horse. To-day, horse-power is prisoned and secured, and horses grow so noticeably fewer, that we might be forgiven to intrude, without appearing pushful sirs—or rude.

A Gallop into the Past.

So allow us to take a little gallop into the Past. To-day we possess filling stations for feeding horse-power to horseless run-abouts—a necessary accessory to the plans of Progress. Their efficiency is undoubted, and their service of the best. But, oh for the scent and somnolence of the oldtime livery stable, where horse-power wore legs in place of wheels! There we found a warmth, physical and metaphysical; there we found colour and atmosphere and individuality. In a stable there was a kind of orderly disorder, the restful restlessness of dormant vitality. There was a scent; an admixture of horse and leather and
“Horse Sense.”

“Horse Sense.”

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time

grease and hay. Voices were hearty and manners were homely. The “office” walls were resplendent with gig lamps and whips and halters, and you took a seat on a bag of chaff; and while you dozed you listened to the munching of animals, the quiet rattle of head-chains, the hollow stamp of a hoof, the rattle of a bucket, punctuated occasionally with the sound (like somebody shaking a blanket) of a horse shaking his hide. It was a somnolent symphony. It is all a memory worth remembering, not because it is almost gone for ever, but because it reminds us that, although we live in hope, Memory is always something to fall back on when reality pushes.

Wring Out the Old, Ring In the New.

But who are we, in this month of January, to wring out the Old while you ring in the New? Let's forget the Past and pursue the Future before the Future, too, becomes the Past.

Wring out the Old, ring in the New!

The Old is cold and old and blue.
The New is pink with pristine promise,
(For every one but Doubting Thomas).
The Old is like the wine that's sped
And left a buzzing in the head;
The New reposes on the table,
With cork intact and on the label,
“Pure eau devie”—as you're alive—
And dated “1935.
Let's take a taste while yet the wine
Reposes in its flagon fine;
Enjoy its taste, and all it means,
Before it joins the “dead marines”
Out in the yard, deplete and cold,
For, soon the New will be the Old.

An old Wellington identity, full of years but still devoted to his pipe, when asked which smoke of the day he preferred, replied with a smile, “I have no preference. To me all smokes are equally good. Why, I often wake in the night and have a whiff! Bad habit? Ha! ha! So it is. But like some other bad habits it's very enjoyable! I used to smoke ordinary plug, but for years past I've been smoking Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead) and I find I not only get more enjoyment out of it but can smoke it with absolute impunity, and that makes all the difference. There are other toasted brands, but I don't want anything better than Cut Plug No. 10.” “The other toasted brands” referred to are Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cavendish, Riverhead Gold and Desert Gold. All are of superfine quality and are quite harmless. “Toasted” is imitated, but never equalled, or even approached. It's inimitable! And year after year the demand increases. There's no finer, purer, or better tobacco manufactured. It's on sale everywhere.*

page 12