The first day of 2020 we woke up to see a beautiful deer resting in our back yard. In fact, he stayed for much of the day, to our delight.
We have not seen deer in our neighborhood for quite a while, but this morning as I write this, three deer have arrived, munching on our bushes, entertaining us with their beauty. I find this so fascinating, this difficult year bookended with such beauty.
This day, a day we traditionally look back and remember, we also look ahead. Quite soberly we have been reminded that we don’t know our future and that is probably a good thing.
As challenging as the past year has been, there have also been gifts of courage, of ingenuity, of working together, of much creativity. I have been inspired again and again by stories of endurance, care and sacrifice in the midst of suffering and challenges.
Even as masks have become the latest fashion accessory, with lots of creativity, I think we look forward to laying them aside. This is one of our hopes for the new year! In fact, I was wondering how many masks might make it into quilted pillows or even quilts as a way to remember. That would make an interesting gift!
As we long for relief, and many mourn, we acknowledge all who grieve. There are many who walk into this New Year who are missing their loved ones. Whether it was the virus, or the opioid crisis, or other illness or tragedy we have not been able to grieve in the same way.
Even though life is unsure, and the future uncertain, I am so thankful for what is sure. The seasons come and go, with unique beauty. The sun rises every morning whether we see it or not. We celebrate the value of human connections and the creativity of caring for one another. I’m grateful for the gift of science and those who work diligently to find solutions.
More than all of that, there is a peace in knowing that I am loved. I truly believe we all are, by the One who brought us into being. We are not alone.
We are certainly not the first generation to endure such challenging and uncertain times. We can look to history to inspire and learn from. In my own life, I have seen God’s gentle guiding and direction, even when I am not aware. I look back and am grateful for lessons learned.
So we bring our hopes and dreams into the threshold of this new year. May you know much peace and love, as we continue to do life together.