Happy New Year, dear readers!
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.
And next year’s words await another voice.”*
Never before have Mr. Eliot’s words resonated so strongly with me. Last year’s words… There were so many that I, for one, am delighted to consign to last year’s language:
Exactly like everyone else, this time last year Cam and I were obliviously comfortable, complacent and confident about what 2020 would have to offer: Lots of competitive and house league curling and lots of golf for Cam. A term on the board of The Friends of Presqu’ile, volunteering with the park’s Bio team and the Common Tern project and lots of photography for me. There’d be two or three trips to upper NY State for more exploring in the Finger Lakes Region. Visits galore with friends and family. Same ol’ same ol’ – small proceedings to be sure, but each one deeply important to us. It wasn’t long (35 days, to be exact) ’til Cam and I knew that 2020 was going to look a lot different than anything we had imagined.
Thinking about the last 12 months — being confined to our bubble of two, steadfastly maintaining our social isolation for nearly eleven months (not a single cheat!), knowing that no one we love has suffered from COVID-19, and savouring all the all the new memories we’ve made — surprisingly but truly, I feel enormous and genuine gratitude. But what a WILD year, eh? So much madness and sadness but also, so many silver linings. The smallness of life and the social isolation of this year, the lack of usual rhythms and the suspension of everything that is normal, made it feel a bit like what I imagine a gap year feels like for students. The thing is that a small life is ideal for Cam and I because then the only big thing is our love for each other. And that’s pretty perfect.
We’re ending this year with open hearts and, ‘though we’ve no idea what to expect of 2021, we’re hopeful and rarin’ to go. After all, 21 is definitely “my” year!
“Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.”**
A new year, a new beginning and isn’t there something very exhilarating about having a clean slate? Today I awoke with a happy sense of anticipation, resolved to live through 2021 bravely, gallantly; as an adventure.
The pandemic still rages, many things that I love (hugging everyone, for instance) are gone forever, but I’m determined to live a nobly inspired life in 2021, maximizing every possibility – both before and after receiving that wonderful vaccination.
Some of our relatives, friends and neighbours are feeling sad; some have lost loved ones to and during the pandemic, dreams have been crushed, uncertainty is the new norm and stress has won the day far too many times. We hope and pray that each of you has the courage to channel your thoughts and actions toward peace. We love you. We are here for you.
As we begin this new year, my wishes for you are:
The audacity to dream.
The courage to embrace hope.
That you live bravely and gallantly.
That you allow your feet to carry you wherever your heart is meant to be.***
That you experience many moments of gentle joy.
In short, that you live nobly inspired lives.
With much love ’til next time, y’all…
Mr. Eliot (1888 – 1965) is most famous for his collection of light-hearted poems, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” which, of course, became the musical “Cats” but my favourite Eliot work is his seminal poem ”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. Regardless of your personal favourite, a lot of wisdom flowed through the pen of Mr. Eliot.
Annie Besant (1847-1933) was a British author and women’s rights activist, writer.
***Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek.
This quote is from the movie “A Christmas Ball” written by Martin & Hynek.