January is this clean slate we created by marking time, and it always feels a bit cold emotionally, with the hard follow-up to the Christmas season, to the warmth of so many holiday celebrations in which families gather, commemorate, acknowledge life in its fullness and glory.
January feels like a slap in the face by comparison.
I resent this a little because my birthday is in January, and I joke and say that’s a holiday, too. In fact, there are nine shopping days until my birthday, in case you needed to know. I’m pretty easy to shop for.
But seriously, back to this January thing: time is time. Time has continued, as have the ills and misfortunes we left, it seemed, in 2016. These follow, trail behind us ever-so-slightly as we continue. The gate of time is only an indicator for humans; beyond the gate we have to recognize the work that continues to call our attention. Whatever your work is, however you contribute something to this world, make it wholehearted and inspiring, make it count, because believe it or not, your contribution does something. Our Creator who sees and knows all will blend it into the greater picture. Now, more than ever, we need to become people of integrity, who recognize the worth and dignity of others, and allow this to influence our progress.
We do say goodbye to the old time, we do need that commemorative moment collectively for our souls, we do need to find ways to celebrate. And then we need to pick up our tools and carry on, bringing hope into situations of despair, and recognizing those moments that no platitude can fix (although when does that ever work?). Make peace with the ugly, maybe even sometimes accept the worst as its own kind of lesson, its own beauty marred by external forces. But certainly do not be shy when you encounter hatred and all its brothers and sisters: by all means, as we start the new year, make a plan of action against the nonsense and chaos we create, too. Because that also marks this time we are in, and calls to us for change that only we can bring.
Happy New Year to all!