It’s my habit, during the last week of the year, to reflect and set intentions. To make a list of my top ten reads. To choose a word for the coming year. To tidy up files and create new ones.
I’ve done some of these things. But mostly I’ve wandered and wondered and tried to put down the weight that’s wearing a hole in my psyche.
We walk gingerly toward the dawn of a new year and wonder how history will remember us. We set intentions and make plans knowing full well as never before that life can knock our house of cards down in an instant.
Last night I lay awake and looked into the dark. I prayed, listened, and wondered about things. I thought not so much of the year that’s ending as I did other years in which horrible things happened. Not so much about newsmakers as ordinary folk who stumbled through unfathomable things and remained standing and the character it took for them to do so.
But this morning I can’t help but reflect on the year we’re saying goodbye to. I look at photos and create a grid of memories. Then, because it doesn’t capture enough, I create a second.
This is 2020.
Void, yet full. Quiet, yet oh so loud.
I have neither energy nor desire to philosophize or do anything other than consider the gems in the past twelve months. And there were some.
I published a book. That’s a Big Thing in my world but it’s lost in the chaos. (Note to authors: don’t release a book in a pandemic year.)
I enjoyed good conversation in parks and coffee shops and on the phone.
I enjoyed spending time with our granddaughter and daughter.
I made face masks.
I sang the doxology while I washed my hands.
I grew tomatoes. And canned tomatoes. And roasted tomatoes. And made tomato soup.
I grew a loofah.
I filled my canning shelves and freezer with an obsession I eventually realized wasn’t healthy.
My chess game improved.
I read good books.
I wrestled with my faith.
I was surprised by grace.
I let go of some things.
I played with watercolour paint.
I got another dog.
I stayed home. I took walks. I stayed home. I stayed home. I stayed home.
I listened to the news. I took a break from the news. I set boundaries around how much news I could stomach.
I didn’t do nearly all the things I could have done but I did what I could. And now, as the year winds down, like many of you, I’m just tired.
I’m going into the new year with few expectations, just a measure of hope and faith. Not necessarily a large measure, but a measure nonetheless, trusting it’s sufficient for one day and that enough will be provided for the days that follow.
We made it through, friends. To say “happy new year” seems trite so I won’t. Thank you for reading my ofttimes rambling posts this year. Let’s link virtual arms and walk forward into whatever lies ahead together. It’s still a beautiful world.
(I’ve been on a break from here and, while I don’t usually announce it, inquiries from dear ones make it seem prudent right now. I might be back tomorrow. Or maybe next week, or sometime later.)