It’s the most contemplative time of year. (Well, not for everyone. Plenty of people may find other points in time more suited for contemplation. Some people seem to have no ability to contemplate much of anything least of all their place in the world and the hardships of others. But that’s a digression for another day.)
Every year has its losses. It’s always disquieting to go from a year that had–no matter how briefly–a particular someone to a year completely without them. For me, that crossover from a year with them to the first calendar year without marks a feeling of finality. It’s hard to explain, but you may know what I mean.
I’ve been thinking of other losses too. Some do contain joy, but they’re losses just the same. Our son has gotten his license and a part-time job. He now leaves the house on his own. It’s a gift, of course, that he is growing up and experiencing the world. This is what we want for our children. Part of it anyway. But other things end. No more car-ride conversations between us. Those were often the funniest conversations we have. Not that we don’t talk in the house, but there’s something about those random chats in the car, inspired by random silliness that has always been different. And no more absolute confidence that I know where he is and who he’s with. It’s a problem we’re supposed to have, and ultimately I’m grateful for it. But it is a loss.
I’ve lost a certain view of my world. Covid-19 has taken an unforgivable number of lives. It has also taken some belief. Here we are forcing healthcare workers from their jobs. And here we believe ludicrous and dangerous garbage. I used to believe such thinking was fringe, but this is no longer the case. The past really is another country, and I feel its loss.
Loss can be tragic or inevitable or necessary or even good. Or a combination. Trees must lose their leaves, obviously. A parent should never lose a child. Loss is complicated and we don’t like to talk about it.
As this year rolls to a close, I send my sympathy and condolences to all who have lost. It’s hard. I wish you comfort and smoother seas.
But for all we’ve been through, may we hold on to hopes and dreams. Hold on to silly jokes and best friends. Hold on to animal companions and glimpses of the full moon. Hold on to wonder and the sharing of a good story. The New Year needs them almost as much as it needs you.
Thanks for reading.