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This New Year

Tonight I will fill my glass with clean water, And drink to health of body and clarity of mind.

I will light a candle and remember how this year’s fires raged. Spurred on by fierce wind and dry twisted branches. How the rain and the snow refused to fall. All in agreement that it must be this way.

I will remember the people burning too, spilling tears and blood to feed the flames.

Wasting away in cages of our own making. Sick to the bones with loneliness, twisting and burning like the dry wood on the side of a mountain as the fires we lit ourselves rage on and on.

It is not new, it is revealed. But what will come of it?

This year we were reminded that we are a small part of something strange and strong and beautiful. And in all of our destruction and all of our disruption, still we are being shown the way out of this maze we have built ourselves.

Fire tempers metal, burns paper, scars rock.

What have we been shown? The need to forge ahead anew.

To lift our charred bodies from the earth and begin to plant and grow again.

To lift our eyes up as the ash settles down. To see the clear skies and a promise of something new. Not to be taken, not to be given. A pact not a gift, to be cared for and protected.

When we return, let it be as protectors of the earth and the sea and of each other. Let us return to things that are true and strong and beautiful. Let it be ancient and let it be new. When the circle comes full, we have a chance to begin.

What comes in the light of this new year?

The clock will run it’s race to the day’s end and it will only mean what we make of it.

© Elizabeth McLaughlin | December 31, 2020


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