Today was a great day for working in the yard. The sun stayed behind thin clouds, a breeze kept one from getting too warm and no rain. As I mowed, trimmed, collected trash and went to the dump, helped my wife with the flowers, I reflected on a friend who’s going to an event tonight for the first time since her life changed dramatically several months ago. I know, in part, what she’s feeling. In 2014 my life irrevocably morphed into something I didn’t recognize anymore. After the trauma its difficult to try to find your way back to balance, peace and growth. It’s been four years for me and I am still waiting for the dust to settle.
The first year might be the most demanding and punishing. It is a “year of firsts.” Life goes on no matter how much you want it to stop so you can catch your breath. Things keep moving and you feel run over. The firsts keep coming; anniversaries, special days, holidays, birthdays, events, occasions, and there’s no ignoring them. It is a challenge to try and can be heartbreaking when the healing wound is punctured again. You hope, pray, you’ll be able to make it.
Wisdom teaches us that a humble spirit, good friends, and patience are the way to a new kind of wholeness and acceptance.
For a contemplative a New Year brings together two truths which seem to be in direct conflict with each other.
The first is life has a rhythm, a score, a flow to it and finding this, immersing oneself in it, brings contentment. A contemplative likes hearing, sensing this rhythm. It’s why we pray at the same times each day, enjoy nature and the seasons, discovering a pattern in the often chaotic life which surround us.
The second is everything, everywhere, is always changing. It’s never the same. Though we like to pray morning, midday, evening and night it doesn’t always happen because life is always happening. The noise and disruptions of existence can keep us from sensing and hearing the rhythm. Even the seasons are always transitioning one into another.
The end of one year and the beginning of another can be disconcerting. What will the New Year bring? Change is a given but what kind, how many, will I be able to adjust, find the flow, be at peace and content?
Another truth is that the New Year is here and there’s no stopping it from opening up before us and becoming what it will be, taking us to an unknown destination. Good or bad, hard or easy, most likely somewhere in between, 2014 has arrived and we must let go of what has passed, not grasp for what is not known, and receive with open hand and listening soul.taking the plunge, bdl