May this poem and blessing enlighten and inspire you as you venture into a new year. With wisdom and grace, Larry Robinson’s poem holds many contractions and heartaches of our world with wisdom and grace.
At the end I offer you a guided year-end meditation from a recent live group session for you to gather your own year-end reflections.
New Year’s Blessing
A year of loss and chaos draws to a close.
Stories from a thousand cultures remind us that the cosmos is born – and reborn again and again – from chaos.
We have passed the darkest night of the year but the light only returns slowly.
The old order has passed as well but the new is not yet apparent.
Life does renew itself and new forms emerge as old ones pass away.
It has always been this way.
For all the misery of the past year, we have also seen astounding acts of beauty and courage and generosity.
This liminal space we inhabit is a time to dream, to imagine and to plan.
There are times when seemingly small acts can have out-size impacts.
I believe that we are in one of these times – actually a hopeful time, a time of possibilities.
Cynicism is as perilous a path as naïveté.
Hope is a choice, not a feeling; we create it through our actions and through our words.
At this turning of the wheel I invite and challenge you to dream grandly of the world you wish to bequeath, to proclaim it proudly and boldly and to join with your brothers and sisters to take the practical steps to make it real.
Remember that every act of kindness bends the arc of our shared life toward love.
Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;
good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;
the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;
kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.
Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;
a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;
some time of ease in the arms of your lover;
then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;
May all this and more be yours this year
and every year after to the end of your days.
One more poem to reflect on from Angela Farmer, a gifted yoga teacher who lives on an island in Greece.
She gathers up the shattered pieces
From those dark and dusty corners
of her past.
She strings them on a thread-
as long as her life
And touches each one in the soft moon light . . .
All the pains and fears,
All the loss and failures
She arranges amongst the pearls of her beauty,
the diamonds of her friendships
and the sparkling gems of her success in life.
Yet in her woman’s heart,
She notices . . .
those broken pieces glow more deeply-
those broken pieces glow more deeply.
Lovingly she ties the string around her neck.