So I know that endings and beginnings are human constructs and that all the shit we’ve been fighting for the past year or five is still there…disease, corruption, hate and racism, inequality, poverty, environmental destruction, cultural erosion…etc. (For crying out loud there’s so much etc…it can weigh a caring person down).
But you know what? Humans created endings and beginnings to manage life as a narrative. We need to put punctuation on things and capitalize the new sentence. I know that metaphor is tired too…new year is the start of a new sentence, page, story, whatever. But it’s a cliche because it’s so relatable and easy to understand. As much of a struggle as the past year has been, as much tragedy and grief and hardship and anxiety as it was filled with, and knowing it doesn’t magically disappear with the change of a calendar page or an arbitrary date we call ‘new’…it does feel new today. I feel new today.
J has been home with The Boy and Little G and I for The Boy’s entire winter break from virtual school, and obviously, his presence with us is enough of a gift for that to be special, but we’ve also taken some outdoor, socially distanced and masked adventures together, we’ve cooked new food from a wonderful new cookbook sent to me (annotated!) by a dear friend, we’ve watched a lot of old comfortable favorites on TV and seen some new things, we’ve laughed a lot, The Boy played some remote video games with his friends and learned to play O Holy Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing on the violin. And we researched our family histories together. J has traced portions of both of our families (in Germany, Ireland, and England) back to the 1500s. We found out that my great grandmother was ‘born at sea.’ Her place of birth on her birth certificate says ‘Atlantic Ocean;’ on a boat to the United States from Germany in the late 1800s. And we found out J’s great great grandfather emigrated here from Germany in 1854, when he was 20 years old, and he lived to be 75…when he was *struck by lightning.* (How fascinating and strange is THAT, right?!) And we ran into some dead ends too. I don’t have a section of my family past my great grandfather. It just…stops. No information. No found records. Which makes us speculate wild stuff about his past, but it also made me think that people really can start with nothing and survive. So maybe we’re all going to start this new year at a low point, but…we’re looking up, we’re moving up (hopefully). I gotta believe that. I do believe that. And for at least today, I’m feeling pretty good about it.