Mr. Cope’s Cave: Holiday for One


You know what today is, don’t you?

Yeah, it’s the 19th. December.

What? No significance?

OK, I knew there wouldn’t be. That’s to be expected. Just because Dec. 19 is significant to me doesn’t mean it’s going to be significant to anyone else.

But this gives me a theory. A new one. So if you’re not in the mood for a theory, go away and do something else. This is one of those things I’m writing for myself, anyway… being Dec. 19 and all… so don’t feel obligated.

What if?… each and every one of us have our own, private, distinct and unique day—there could two or three a year, I suppose—that is significant to them and no one else? And I’m not talking about the days that we’re expected to consider significant, like wedding anniversaries or birthdays.

Nor am I talking about the days we all supposedly share for their significance. The Fourth of July. Memorial Day. Christmas, etc. Those collective hive days when, if we don’t get in the spirit of things, or if we don’t partake in the sentimentality of the event (however forced and phony and false it may be), then there’s something wrong with us.

No, I’m talking about a day that comes about every year on which we pause and think to ourselves Ah, here it is again… that day, and we know we’re the only one on Earth who feels the power, the history, of that day. Because, you understand, that history is personal and interior, confined to one single soul. You. It’s a history that would mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. A history without which you would be someone other than who you are.

It might be a day for nostalgia, for remembrance, for sadness, for quiet reflection, for gratitude, for joy, any or all of those things. It may be a day to make a toast, perhaps shed a tear, for someone from another time, another place. It may be a day for an inner chuckle, a joke that only you get.

It will almost certainly be a day in which something happened that was indispensable to your present day. Your today. And for that reason, it is a magical and mysterious and vivid day. You can’t imagine your life without it. Everything before that day was funneled, filtered, through it, and what came out the other side was you. It may be a day you’d live over and over if you could, or a day you wished had never happened.

One way or the other, it’s yours. Alone.

That’s what today is for me. The 19th of December.

I was going to tell you why, but I’ve changed my mind.