This Holiday Season has been precious and wonderful, despite all of the restrictions. I missed some members of my family but thanks to electronic communications, I’ve been able to keep in touch with all. I’d be lying if I said my thoughts don’t meander into the darkness wondering when on Earth this pandemic will end and wondering when we might be able to traverse the out of doors when a smile in passing can actually be shared and seen. I can’t linger much in the darkness with my thoughts because it takes me away from the present. If I have learned anything in all of my years is that the present moment is all we have.
There is much to be stressed and concerned about these days, but I don’t choose to wander among the wishful thinking or petty frustrations for too long. I’d rather hold out hope for strength for those folks fighting to remain healthy, comfort for those in mourning, and love for those feeling left out and lonely. I want ever so much to remain compassionate for all of those battles fought in the minds and hearts of my fellow human beings all over the world. I cannot help but whisper a nightly prayer for those both within my circle and especially those far beyond it. I pray for less inclement weather, calm seas, skies and psyches. I pray for wisdom to find the ignorant as much as those folks seeking it.
We go into a new year in just a few short days. I find that I’m grateful to be here to witness the calendar’s change into another new year. I’m grateful the light begins to return day by day even if that means welcoming the super-hot temps of my little corner of the world. I think about prosperity for people, ease in their suffering, and that each may find some measure of happiness no matter how fleeting that might seem in this new year. 2022…oh my, I cannot believe that I’m here to see it.
One of the things that has kept me going these past challenging couple of years is an immense gratitude for everything. When I’m feeling the stress and strain of this or that, I step outside to feel the breeze, listen to the birds sing, feel the grass beneath my feet, watch the clouds sailing by or reverently witness the fiery pink glory of sunrise and the awe-striking display of orange at sunset. I listen to the sounds outside – people with hearts and thoughts driving here or there, my neighbors talking, the four-legged canines barking at this sound or that…it’s all of these things that reminds me that life goes on and it will always go on. I find I’m less emotional these days and more confident in the world’s workings. I’m more comfortable in my own skin, with my own heart, memories and experiences. I found happiness amidst chaos by welcoming all memories that arise and breathing gently in the present.
I have seen so much and despite the horrors conveyed on the news or in social media, I know one thing is true, there are more than descent, reasonable, helpful, honest, hardworking people out there that care about this world and all life in it. That fact comforts me. I pray for them the most so that they may be continually inspired to create what this world most needs – healing, comfort, caring and compassion. Wherever you are or find yourself this New Year’s Eve, may you be healthy, may you be happy, may you find comfort, may you be safe, and may you be at peace. Blessings for a safe, abundant, successful and joyous new year!
© December 2021, photo and words J.L. Harter