365 Grateful: an appropriate welcome

And so, 2020 slipped away, as 2021 stiffened its back, took a deep breath, and slipped in. And there were tears here, in the form of rain from before daybreak until nigh on sunset of the first day. Appropriate, I think, for this exchange of dates. Appropriate for the sense of cleansing, of washing away the stink and dirt of the past year, that needn’t be named to be recalled.

I awakened to an overcast, steel-gray sky that wept those raindrop tears all day long. Ah, but around 4:30 or so, the clouds broke apart and beckoned the sun to its stage as a host might beckon to a legend or a vibrant rising star. Never mind that the star — or sun — was setting here in the west. Science has taught us that the sun continues to rise and set as the earth turns. I trust in science, so I trust in its return.

But what was this? Raindrops glistened on tree branches. It was as though the earth had flung diamonds among bare branches and nodding grasses and green evergreen sprigs. As the sun set on a tired Earth, it decked out my world with priceless gems of nature, and they reflected back, to anyone who took heed, a glorious blue sky and a golden glow of sunset encapsulated within each delicate diamond droplet.

It was an auspicious ending to an ominous first day. I’d like to think it was 2021 weeping — weeping for what it inherited from 2020. The new year cleansing the earth of what remained of the old, wiping away the loss, fear, and contention. Washing away the division and rancor.

Or blowing the stink off, as my late great-aunt Jo would have said.

And like all good cleansings — whether in a hot, steamy shower, a long, luxurious bath, or a long-needed release of tears — we emerge with a little more hope. A little more joy. A little more peace, trust, and kindness. And, dare we hope, a cohesive unity and good will now begins to take shape.

Oh, may it be so.

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