The last day of my year was beautiful. I spent some time with every member of my family that lives is the same country as me – ate some delicious food, saw a moving, beautiful movie. And as we brought in the new year, I had a few special hours drinking wine in a tiny bar with my love.
The perfect way to end an imperfect year, and to greet the next.
In the last few hours of the year, I heard news of a friend who lost her mother. She reached out to our community to ask for support as she sat with her, watching her die. A painful, privilege that so many of us fear.
As the messages of support for her came in, I cried, so moved by the beauty of friendship, love and loss. They weren’t the tears of grief or fear, they were tears of simple emotion in the face of beauty.
This was one of my greatest gifts this year. The many moments where I was moved to tears, these exact tears in the face of ultimate humanity and how painfully beautiful it can be.
In the first few hours of this squeaky-clean, brand new year I heard news from friends about a dreadful shooting event where many, many lives were claimed. I heard their shock and pain, immediately accessing the images of the event online. And alongside these images was the list of all the similar events that had happened throughout the last year.
It would be easy to slip into fear, pain and the disillusionment that we have all felt throughout this tumultuous period.
Easy to surrender to the belief that all is not well. That we are headed to more difficult and challenging times. That our safety and well-being is forever damaged and threatened.
It would not be difficult to imagine the doom and gloom, the apocalypse that so many expect in the coming years. To focus on all that is wrong in the world.
And yet, this is as it has always been.
This amazing mix of everything, that is the human state. it is the way in which we experience our world.
And it is a choice.
To see the beauty or the ugliness.
To experience fear or hope.
To be in love or in hate.
And we are connected to all of that, whether we like it or not.
I choose joy.