By Rev. Carol Bodeau
What a last year it has been! 2020 was certainly memorable, if nothing else. And of course it was a lot of other things: challenging, frightening, eye-opening, heart-warming, record-breaking, ground-breaking, and so much more. Each of us had our own personal experience of the phenomenon that was 2020, but collectively it was time that we will all remember as changing us personally and globally.
As we approach the New Year, it might be east to hope for things to ‘go back to normal’ or for them to ‘finally get better.’ But I think it is probably naïve to think that things will quickly or simply return to some familiar sense of order and regularity. Things have changed; we all have been changed. So rather than hope for an easy return to something known or expected, let’s instead set an intention for something better which we will choose to consciously create.
The best expression I have heard of this approach comes from pagan activist and theologian Starhawk, who offers this prayer for the New Year (you can check out Starhawk’s offerings and teachings at https://starhawk.org/)
May the isolation, fear and loss we have suffered in this past year make us more appreciative of our friends, loved ones and coworkers, and more aware of how vitally we need community.
May the callousness, irresponsibility and corruption we have seen in powerholders make us appreciate the value of truth, integrity, and caring in our leaders.
May the barrage of lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories that flood the internet inspire us to hone our critical thinking and strengthen our capacity for good judgement.
May the injustices we have witnessed and suffered deepen our commitment to dismantle systems of oppression.
May the fires, floods, hurricanes and disasters of this last year make us more aware that we are subject to nature’s laws, and more determined to bring us into balance.
May this coming year be a turning point—toward a world of more compassion, more caring, more sharing, more integrity, more courage, more health, more regeneration, and more joy in being agents of justice and renewal!
May it be so, and may this New Year bring you a renewed sense of peace and possibility,