Americans like “new beginnings”! I hung this year’s calendar on the wall and admired the picture for this month of two cardinals in the snow. (January 1, 2019 )
We pause to assess where we are, who we are and what our goals will be in the coming year. We are grateful to the holidays which renewed the spirit of hope. The power, the engine that has provided the impetus to move forward, was the result of people coming together. We listened to symphony orchestras where a great variety of instruments were combined to produce a sound that transcends our mundane lives. We heard choral groups which enriched us with their harmony. The Rose Parade on New Year’s Day was magnificent. We saw floats that were created with boundless imagination and ingenuity, accompanied by bands of 300 students keeping in perfect step with each other while playing musical instruments. We are reminded of what can be accomplished when we join with others in a common cause.
One of my favorite memories is of an event I attended with my family and friends in Pennsylvania. Members of the community were given a candle when entering the building. An informal service was conducted by a minister in casual dress, wearing a sweater. The music offered was someone strumming a guitar. The speech was short and followed by the lights fading leaving us in the dark. I was vaguely aware of a shadowy figure moving down the isle with a lighted candle stopping at the head of each row of guests to light their candles. The light was then passed down the line as each of us turned to our neighbor to share our light. Soon the room was no longer dark.
Daily we are reminded that our country and the world are facing problems with dire implications. We worry about the economy, the environment, immigration, infrastructure, healthcare, the justice system and voter suppression, to name a few. Violence and hate loom large and threaten to engulf us. While there are giants among us, we can’t all be heroes. But we can all light one small candle and contribute to the darkness.
As we move into the future we must continue to search for the truth, apply patience and reason to the process of governing and not allow fear to dictate the choices we make.