So many mixed emotions facing this New Year. The first birthday of my life without my beloved mother to cheer me on as she always did each and every year. I have packs of her letters and notes inscribed with her beautiful cursive and loving words. My little cheerleader of the heart now off in the heavenly ethers of time and memories along with so many others in that ephemeral Land of Use To Be. Gone but never to be forgotten.
Another year of Auld Lang Syne. I was born on the 31st of December so for as long as I can remember I thought that poignant melody was my birthday song. It always made me feel sad inside, nostalgic for something I didn’t even understand why it moved me so but it always did. It still does.
I won’t go into all the 2016 longings and sorrows and horrors, the unshakable disbeliefs so unfathomable and cruel. You know them all too well. But we can and must—at least I must for my own sanity—focus on the preciousness before me. The Now that is real and tangible.
For me it’s my children and grandchildren and great nieces and nephews and all the children of the world who have signed on to live on this beautiful and fragile planet Earth. And are depending on us to not give up. To protect and nurture them. To believe in Hope.
And it’s the animals, each of the creatures—all of Sweet Mother Nature– great and small that I cherish. Each so pure and dependent on our care and protection.
And it’s my beloved husband and extended family and friends—my personal kin and the more global ones I embrace as well—that I pray for and love so fiercely.
To say that this birthday is a see-saw of emotions—gratitude and sad-itude—for me is exactly right. I don’t think it’s an accident of Fate that Christmas and Hanukkah were celebrated together for this first time in forever this year. Uniting us all. Reminding us that we are truly ONE. The beauty of those hope-filled lights blazing in the darkest of winters helped me feel that sense of “enLIGHTenment” I needed to lift my spirits. To face the darkness with an undistinguishable inner flame. I must remember to keep it aglow no matter what…
So my birthday wish is my New Year’s wish is my wish for our world to be united in light and togetherness and hope and health and laughter and the belief that we can and must love deeper and stronger and more passionately as ONE more than ever before. And that we each can make positive changes one step at a time. One pebble in a pond sending out ripples of love over and over again. And to stay focused on really what does matter.
Be strong, dear ones. Shine in the light of love. Happy New Year. Let’s together make it so…
“Burning the Old Year”
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
Naomi Shihab NyeShare