It is customary on the first day of a new year to wish one another health, prosperity, and happiness—a trio welcome anytime, but perhaps this year a little more excitedly so as they appear at the threshold. We proclaim health first, for reasons too obvious and urgent. The word health is akin to whole and hale and holy: sound and vigorous and entire. Prosperity means what has come as we had hoped: good fortune and success as we conceive it. And happiness? The word happiness, strange to say, is related to the verb happen, so that we are truly happy when we stand in accord with what happens, always steady amidst change, the quintessence of life. What more could we wish for, this coming year especially but always so.
Thank you for caring with me about language and the insight it can bring us. Happy New Year.