My Christmas Letter 2020
December 20, 2020
I have wanted to sit down and write my Christmas letter for several days now, but I have found myself baking instead. I’ve baked bread, scones, and muffins, one right after the other. My goodies are safely stored in the freezer now, as I didn’t want to eat them all at once! By last night, I finally realized that perhaps this year has left me speechless, or maybe just not wanting to look back, because I’m so focused on taking life one day at a time, facing forwards, toward the future.
Just a year ago, I was deeply involved in the releasing my book into the world and trying to learn how to market it. I was writing articles, doing interviews and podcasts, reaching further out into the world than I ever had in my entire life. It was both exciting and nerve wracking and a true challenge to my more natural introverted self. I was getting used to it though, and liked experiencing a new version of myself at 74.
Of course, by the middle of March so many things came to a screeching halt. The extremes were mind boggling! Now I was sheltering in place, no longer able to do my work in person or host guests at my forest retreat. What a dramatic shift! Now it was just me here in my forest home, alone, stepping out only to buy groceries every couple of weeks or so.
We all have our stories about our entry into these pandemic times, with some of us more catapulted into chaos than others, but none of us has been left untouched. Initially I was washing groceries, sewing masks, and desperately trying to make sense of what was happening, all of which I’ve now abandoned. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no sense to be made. It is all about experiencing, and in the midst of this much chaos, most of us are experiencing a free fall, interspersed by moments of grasping for some kind of stability. It is just a very wild ride! None of us knows where we will land as people, country or world, when this pandemic is finally put to rest.
Nothing in my lifetime has shattered life as we know it, for so many of us, like this pandemic has. Where I’ve placed my hope in all these months of social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and not gathering with friends and family, is in my faith that in the earthquake of our current moment, something new and exciting can be born.
Over these months, I have thought so often about all those who have gone before us and the difficult passages they lived through. My own grandfather died in the 1918 flu pandemic, leaving my grandmother with four little ones and pregnant with number five. My mom was only 2 years old when her father died. We humans have struggled through dark times before. Certainly, we can find the courage and stamina to withstand our turn with this pandemic and set our course for something better in the future.
It is my most fervent wish, that when we rise out of these pandemic times, we rise awakened to the new possibilities for our lives and our society and that with seriousness, we set about manifesting our better selves and our highest dreams for our world.
Winter holidays this year are a challenge. If we can't be with family this time around, it will be sad. I'll especially miss being with my little grandsons who are young enough to still live with both feet in magic and wonder. But if we can zoom our lens way out, to the very big picture of our lives, on Christmas Eve, we can meet together somewhere under the canopy of the starry night sky. If we are young enough at heart, we might just see Santa and his reindeer fly over our town as he makes his way on his yearly trip around the world. In that big picture, the one thing we will absolutely know for sure, is that we are indeed, all in this together.
I’m thinking of all of you out there and wondering how it is going for you and yours. I’m sending all good wishes for a Happy Holiday and a happy, healthy and creative New Year.