The carnage of a most dreadful year A.D. 2020 is past.
Or, as Michelle Cottle wrote this week in the New York Times, “This year was a soul-crushing hellscape of a dumpster fire. For sanity’s sake, large chunks of it should be repressed as soon as possible.”
Truth be told, this turning of the year is artificial. Nothing changes overnight just because we start a new month in a year that has one digit changed. But we measure our lives in this way, and so we will, and so I will.
So, the carnage is real. The year 2020 was a veritable beast. The most miserable year in my memory, and that of many others.
As I write, the finches are frolicking and foraging in the garden, so evident through my window above the sink.
And candlelight still illumines the darkness, a much-needed gift in this dark season of the year.
Neighbors and friends still exhibit kindnesses — a wave, a little gift of bran muffins, a “what do you need from the store?”, a perfectly-chosen little something at Christmas time.
Creativity yet abounds. The composer juices are flowing again.
Books are still faithful companions. Said E. B. White, “Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
The kitchen still beckons with promises of comfort and other forms of creativity.
Nelson still needs me as much as I need him.
And as of Monday, I have fewer than 150 days until I return full-time to the professoriate.
A new term with the Variety kids is in the offing, also starting on Monday, with new music to explore and new stories to be told.
And there are stories still to be told . . . stories of life and living, of dreams fulfilled, of dreams not yet fulfilled, of people and places.
There are still songs to be sung. To be learned and taught. Voices to be raised and trained. Oh, this gift of singing . . . . What a certain treasure it is!
Perhaps 2021 will be less carnaged, more filled with hope as opposed to doom and despair, a time of fulfillment. And creativity. And song. And love. And hugs.
May it be so.