Last week, I saw many people on social media wishing 2016 “good riddance,” expressing their disappointment with the events of the year. Whether it was celebrity deaths, personal struggles and heartache or a US election going awry, folks seemed eager to move forward into 2017.
I wish I were feeling that way. Instead, I noticed myself last week dreading the approaching calendar change. I was carrying with me (and still am to a lesser degree) a sense of impending trouble, an unease and awareness of things getting worse before they get better. I know it is coming from my discomfort and disquiet over the incoming political administration and what damage they might do to our beautiful Earth, what injury they might inflict upon vulnerable people, what harm they might do to our systems of democracy. In some ways, I think it is good to walk into trouble with eyes open.
At the same time, living from a place of fear and unease will only serve to hinder my journey. Just like with any relationship, if we focus our attention on the shortcomings and flaws, we undermine the potential to flourish.
The question I have been bouncing around in my head the last few days is this:
How do I stay in the fray of advocating for my democracy and the principles that I hold dear, without losing myself to the fear of a new landscape and an unknown future?
This morning, I am finding my answer in the winter branches outside my window. The skeletal outlines hold perfectly still against the cold, cloud-filled morning sky. In their stark nakedness, they seem frail and vulnerable. And they also seem resolute - even with only the promise of longer days.
I want to stand resolute like those trees. I want to be rooted in my own inner wisdom and reaching out into the cold gray of this day (this era) toward what is possible, what is promised.
For now, I begin with what is present: the stark beauty of a winter morning.
What has the threshold of the New Year been like for you? How might you be intentional as you move forward into 2017?