Friday, January 1, 2021

The Eighth Day of Christmas

New Year's Day

Welcome to 2021.  An opportunity to start a new chapter, a new story, a new verse.  

It seems we are all in want of that lately.  We want to shake off 2020 and all it brought and move back into brighter times.  There's no reason a new start should limited to today alone, but the day and the occasion does make for a good transition.

In this season of resolutions, I pray you make them and work towards them.  If nothing else, to try something new and different.  Something you've always wanted to do.  Be bold.  Be daring.  Shoot for the moon.  Be wild and ambitious.  But most of all be kind.  If it's one thing I've observed and wished for my life, it is that we need more kindness in the world, especially now.  Pure, unadulterated kindness.  To view the whole world as our neighborhood.  I hope to be a part of that change.

"Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness."  William Shakespeare

If we should keep anything of 2020, it should be a reminder that human connection is absolutely necessary.  We've seen how our time with our immediate families could be strengthened through time together.  We've longed for the ability to connect with friends, with family, with others around us that we've missed through these months.  We recognize that kindness, that friendship is a warmth shared between us.  

In year's past, I've shared my favorite New Year's posts from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.  Last year, he shared a poem, that started by asking what people on Twitter thought of when they heard the word "warmth."  The following is the poem he wrote from the collection of their responses.

When You Need to be Warm.

"A baked potato of a winter's night to wrap your 
hands around or burn your mouth.
A blanket knitted by your mother's cunning fingers. Or your 
A smile, a touch, trust, as you walk in from the snow 
or return to it, the tips of your ears pricked pink and frozen.

The tink tink tink of iron radiators waking in an old house.
To surface from dreams in a bed, burrowed beneath 
blankets and comforters,
the change of state from cold to warm is all that matters,
and you think
just one more minute snuggled here before you face the
chill.  Just one.

Places we slept as children: they warm us in the memory
We travel to an inside from the outside.  To the orange
flames of the fireplace
or the wood burning in the stove.  Breath-ice on the inside 
of windows,
to be scratched off with a fingernail, melted with a whole 

Frost on the ground that stays in the shadows, waiting for
Wear a scarf.  Wear a coat.  Wear a sweater.  Wear socks.  Wear
thick gloves.
An infant as she sleeps between us.  A tumble of dogs,
a kindle of cats and kittens.  Come inside.  You're safe now.

A kettle boiling at the stove. Your family or friends are
there.  They smile.
Cocoa or chocolate, tea or coffee, soup or toddy, what you
know you need.
A heat exchange, they give it to you, you take the mug
and start to thaw.  While outside, for some of us, the
journey began.

as we walked away from our grandparents' houses
away from the places we knew as children: changes of 
state and state and state,
to stumble across a stony desert, or to brave the deep
while food and friends, home, a bed, even a blanket
become just memories.

Sometimes it only takes a stranger, in a dark place,
to hold out a badly-knitted scarf, to offer a kind word, to
we have the right to be here, to make us warm in the
coldest season.

You have the right to be here."

Should auld acquaintance be forgot...
We'll drink a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Happy New Year!  To 2021!

No comments:

Post a Comment