Four years ago today I was in the midst of wrapping up my mother's life. The end came fairly quickly, all in all, and her timing was perfect - the end of the year and the end of - as she put it - a good life.
Time marches on, and here we are, marking the end of 2020, but not the end of the pandemic. Not nearly the end of the pandemic.
The news is mostly not good as numbers continue to spiral upwards, people struggle to make ends meet, governments flail trying to strike the 'right' note between preserving their citizens and the economy. Some countries are also trying to figure out how to make their systems more equitable. Or not.
The calendar new year has held little meaning for me for decades. My new year started when the craft fair season finished, usually mid to late November/early December. By Christmas I was already well into plans for the coming year, so the date of Dec. 31 meant very little and I pretty much ignored Jan. 1 altogether. As a self employed person, every day was a potential work day.
We live our lives building on what has come 'before'. Things rarely happen out of the blue. We sow our seeds, cultivate them, hope they ripen. But harvest is the culmination of all of that work, not a surprise out of the blue.
The solstice has come to be a lot more meaningful to me in terms of a 'new year'.
This time last year I was awaiting the arrival of a friend hoping for a nice winter for her to enjoy. It wasn't great weather so we didn't get to go on nice winter walks, make snow angels. This year is proving to be even 'worse' in terms of the weather - so far. Much too warm, overcast days, dreary with it. It doesn't much feel as though the daylight hours are increasing when each day seems to arrive in the gloaming and lights remain on to drive the gloom away.
It is during this time of dark that we have to hold on to hope. Vaccines are arriving, people are getting them, and while it may not be very noticeable, the daylight does come a wee bit earlier, stay a wee bit longer.
Through the autumn and early winter, I put some plans in place, reached out to people, set up dates for events to happen - over Zoom. The internet has been a great tool for staying in touch with folk and now we can even have meetings of people from all over the place, staying in communication, bridging the physical (and necessary) distance.
My crystal ball is cloudy and cracked. I have no idea what 2021 holds. But I do know this. I will do what I can, when I can. That includes my own weaving, but also encouraging others however I am able.
Build a bigger table. Light another's candle.
Sending everyone my very best wishes for 2021 and beyond.