I normally look forward to the nostalgia of “the year that was,” but 2020 was just not that kind of year for me. When the replays started early on New Year’s Eve, I decided that I wasn’t ready to relive the trauma all over again. It was much too soon; the pain was still too fresh. My spirit was unwilling to engage. Instead, I found a playlist on YouTube with 195 songs from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. I fired up my white sage, and I started cleaning my house. And I smiled, and I sang, and I danced.
Each song was a memory, a journey through a part of my life, a recollection of people and places and events. I recognized how music influenced my younger self, and I wondered whether I would have made different choices with a revised soundtrack. And still I danced. I welcomed 2021 with my second glass of champagne and I listened as my neighborhood exploded with fireworks and gunfire. And for the first time in a very long time, it actually felt celebratory.
When I looked outside, the Moon was so bright that She illuminated the mist and fog from the day’s rainy weather, making the world glow in a peaceful blanket of light. And while I’m sure I must have seen this effect before, I am equally sure that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. New light, new year, new life. I made it to song 43 on the playlist before succumbing to sleep shortly after midnight.
On January 1st, I watched as heavy rains washed the earth and the winds swept the air, and it seemed appropriate somehow that the year began with a good cleansing. I had intended to post a blog on that day, but I decided that I could not clearly convey a message that was not yet clear to me. So I started up the playlist at number 44 and resumed putting my space in order. Again, I smiled and sang and danced. For the first time ever in my life, housework felt like fun, and at the end of the day I was very satisfied to see how much I had accomplished.
By January 2nd, I recognized that I was reacting to external chaos by creating order in my home environment. Starting with number 65, I cranked up the music for the third day in a row and tackled the disarray in my jewelry making studio. The custom shelves that I recently had made for that area are perfect if used as intended, but I seldom put things back where they belong. Anyone who works with small components knows how easy it is to make a mess, and how long it can take to sort it out again. Yet, by the end of the afternoon, I had most of my stones back in their cases and my tools and equipment on their proper shelves. With a little of this new-found discipline, I may soon be able to honestly claim organization as one of my skills!
Here, on this third day of the new year, I tapped into the world briefly but quickly retreated from the harshness of our current reality. I am not yet ready to recount the many ways in which we have been injured, choosing instead to embrace the present time and place I occupy. Today, it’s World Music, breathing deeply in the stillness, and feeling gratitude for simply being.
May we all find strength and healing in this new year.