Despite my deep love and pride for this country, this season always tugs at my heart. It stirs memories of how it used to be in Brazil – opting for an early night on December 31st instead of joining the bustling crowds for the countdowns on the beach. There’s a sense of yearning and a poignant feeling of absence.
Yet, this year brings a different perspective. At this moment, I’d choose to be right here.
There’s no celebration, no sought-after beach, nor a mountain retreat scented with the fragrance of the forest that calls me.
We were profoundly marked on that day when, once again, our history was cleaved into before and after.
And we’ve been coping ever since.
Bearing witness to the war, facing the specter of death daily, and confronting the reality that a significant part of the world harbors nothing but a desire for extermination – these experiences reshape our perspectives. We encountered a depth of hate we never imagined returning anytime soon, if ever.
Some around me, driven by fear, contemplate departure. The response remains unwavering: “Where to?” And so they stay. Everyone stays.
There’s no other place to be.
So, we press on.
Because it’s what we’re meant to do.
Because it’s what we’ve mastered.
And because if we didn’t, our history wouldn’t span 5784 years.
It’s New Year’s Eve. And there’s no celebration.
The week will unfold like those preceding it: waking up, taking a deep breath, wiping away the tears, moving forward. And that’s all.
(Translation into English by Marcus Gilban)