It is the morning of the first day of a new year, ushered in by the silverly luminescence of a super moon, then the pale streaks of the rising sun lighting its way.
The new year’s coming for me this year is in the midst of a frigid East coast winter, where a pre-New Year’s walk in the park reminds of nature’s indomitable power, a muffler wound around my face barely warding off the wind’s freezing sting, my fingers stiff and cold in my gloves, my feet gingerly making their way along pathways slicked with glittery ice. I go to bed ever so grateful for the blessings of home, for heat and food, for the comfort of a warm bed and a full stomach.
I awake in the first day’s early hours and pad into the kitchen to measure water and scoop ground beans to make my first cup of coffee, grasping a hot mug between my hands, inhaling both the heady scent and the warm, moist steam of the brew that cossets me like the morning quiet.
And I think how lucky I am to be here, at this moment, in this time. How despite the sometimes overwhelming cold and darkness and incomprehensible bleakness of God’s world, there remains its infinite newness that beckons us forward, the promise, always, for another day to break, for another year to come, for anticipation to urge us on and aspiration to light our way.
And I think of the hours, and days, and months ahead. There is my own work to be done, my writing, insights to be distilled, thoughts to be parsed, words to be oh-so-carefully chosen, strung together in oh-so-carefully hewn sentences, each one following the next to compose a cohesive whole.There are precious relationships to be more fully vested, friendships more fully valued, communities to more actively engage and a life to be made rife with fullness and meaning.
And there is our work to be done, the ongoing human project, pushing past the infinitesimal smallness of everyday life into the vast infinitude of human potential, where self interest gives way to public responsibility, where selfishness gives way to benevolence, where hubris gives way to humility, where indifference gives way to compassion. Where our work becomes God’s work, opening hearts and extending hands, connecting us to each other and to life’s essential oneness.
Yes, there is much work to be done as we begin anew. But I arise ready to greet the day, this one and the next, as grateful for its coming as for my being here to meet it, and ready to go forth.