Why do we start a new year, with promises to improve?
Who began this tradition of never-ending pressure?
I say, the end of a year, should be filled with congratulation, for all we survived.
And I say a new year should start with promises to be kinder to ourselves, to understand better just how much we bear, as humans on this exhausting treadmill of life.
And if we are to promise more, let’s pledge to rest,
before our bodies force us.
Let’s pledge to stop, and drink in life as it happens.
Let’s pledge to strip away a layer of perfection to reveal the flawed and wondrous humanity we truly are inside.
Why start another year, gifted to us on this earth, with demands on our already over-strained humanity.
When we could be learning to accept, that we were always supposed to be imperfect.
And that is where the beauty lives, actually.
And if we can only find that beauty, we would also find peace.
I wish you peace in 2023.
Everything else is all just a part of it.
Let it be so.
Quote: ‘Life: Poems to help navigate life’s many twists & turns’
by Donna Ashworth (Amazon)
God of rough hands and hardened feet,
giving light to the daughters and sons of earth:
in agony of birth and gentleness of newborn skin,
may we discover your ordinary beauty in the heart of our longing world;
through Jesus Christ,
the Icon of the Unseen God.
Amen. (Prayers For An Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare)
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world Came people singing, dancing, To drive the dark away. They lighted candles in the winter trees; They hung their homes with evergreen; They burned beseeching fires all night long To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake They shouted, reveling. Through all the frosty ages you can hear them Echoing behind us — listen! All the long echoes, sing the same delight, This Shortest Day, As promise wakens in the sleeping land: They carol, feast, give thanks, And dearly love their friends, And hope for peace. And now so do we, here, now, This year and every year.
Quote: The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
Images: Susan Cooper and artist Carson Ellis celebrate in The Shortest Day (public library) — an illustrated resurrection of Cooper’s 1974 poem by the same title, originally composed for John Langstaff’s beloved Christmas Revel shows, which fuse medieval and modern music in grassroots theatrical productions across local communities.