Welcome to the finish line of 2020, a truly unprecedented year. We’re a few hours away from a brand new and much-needed beginning. We ought to give ourselves credit for getting through and being here, ready and able to exhale.
Is anything going to change drastically at the dawn of the New Year? Probably not, but change will come…slowly, painstakingly, deliberately, and at times, unexpectedly. ‘Tis the nature of change.
Of course! The path to heavenMary Oliver
doesn’t lie down in flat miles.
It’s in the imagination
with which you perceive
and the gestures
with which you honor it.
Oh, what will I do, what will I say, when those
touch the shore?
Excerpt from “The Swan”
It is customary to begin a new year by setting intentions and making resolutions. Given the year we’ve had, I feel the need to look back and reflect on the significance and lessons of 2020.
In retrospect, even without the pandemic, 2020 was earmarked for chaos. Political upheaval and racial tensions have been building for a while. Our environment has been under siege, with record-breaking wildfires burning millions of acres in California and Oregon and devastating towns and wildlife, and the busiest hurricane season on record.
The pandemic ensured that our vulnerabilities would be revealed and our false sense of security and control would crumble. Change is here to stay. If nothing else, we’ve been made to ask ourselves some hard questions.
Who are we? Who do we want to be? If “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” what now? How do we move forward?
As Mary Oliver reminds us in her poem above, there isn’t much we can accomplish without imagination and hope. The world may feel out of control and it’s easy to get discouraged but here we are, healthy and whole, resilient and grateful for having persevered, getting ready to welcome the New Year.
Tell me, how do you imagine this New Year? What are your highest hopes and how will you honor them?
No matter what happened in 2020, it’s not the end of the story, it’s only part of it. We’ve grown stronger, more resilient, and hopefully more compassionate. Some changes have already taken hold and now it’s our turn to focus our energy on what we’ve learned so far and the positive outcomes we hope and pray for.
Our ability to dream and make personal choices has not diminished. This is when we can jumpstart our hopeful imagination and dare to envision something better.
Wishing you all a hopeful new beginning and a happy and healthy New Year!