Its a New Year’s Eve like no other… Are you feeling as depressed as me about it today? I’m quite at home with the feeling of depression, it stirs my soul in a way no other feeling does. It’s a beautiful glacial grounding. A glorious ache of patience and focus as I move through it with the screaming desperation for a hit of instant relief. It’s got a glorious stench about it that I can’t help but stand in awe of and breathe in deeply. Today is a day like no other. It’s a lesson in letting go… not of 2020, although the turn in the calendar tells us it’s over, but the letting go of the hit of relief New Year’s Eve usually offers us, the stripping away of vaneer to expose the reality of this dark time of year.
Putting on a frock and partying until midnight, the promise of a new dawn, new resolve and resolution, a sense that tomorrow the slate will have been wiped clean. That’s the hit I so crave today, the superficial relief from the grind of cold dark winter. Today the gift is something altogether different, and I’m choosing to accept it to the marrow of my bones. If I don’t, I’m just fighting it or I’m dulling it, or distracting myself from it, and what ‘IT’ is, is real, and glorious, and precious and true and aching and urging and painful and sorrowful and gritty and nourishing and bitter and so alive. So beautifully raw and alive.
What we face as the calendar turns is the need for deep resilience. The turn of the year simply marks the turning back towards the light. We’ve moved to and through the darkest day of the year and now we inch our way slowly, hungrily, towards the light. But the Spring is still months away. The long days of summer half a year away. The fruits and harvest of our resilience are being prepared in the ground now. It’s the hardest time. The time to plant seeds and turn the frozen earth, to face the deep cold and to stand in the darkness with focus, looking forward. We feel the hope of Spring but it’s not here yet. The pace is so slow it’s painful. The rhythm of the earth is so much more powerful than the parties and the sales and the sweet food and alcohol, and all those things do is distract us from the grit and depression we truly feel for it to all be over. To be behind us as a memory, Covid gone, 2020 over.
My resolve today is not to fix it, or fight it, or dull it or distract myself. My resolve is to stand in the glorious stench of it all and say thank you 2020 for the gift of reality, for life and death. The reminder that life is so much more precious and powerful than we could ever truly know but if we stop for a minute and can bare to feel it, then we might just glimpse its terrifying awesomeness. Thank you 2020 for stripping us to the bone, for illuminating chaos and confusion, exhaustion and fatigue. Thank you for offering up sorrow and grief and stifling intimacy, because in facing those things I’ve found a new me. There’s a seed of something deeper, more resilient, more compassionate and certainly more fierce in the way I now turn to face the slow emergence of 2021. I’m going to savour the slow dark days for all that they offer, loneliness, despair, hope, joy… all as valid and alive as each other. My resolve is not to change. My resolve is not to turn away. My resolve is to be present with myself. I will no longer abandon myself for fast relief. I am going to stand in the darkness and look towards the light with gritty, dirty reality as my foundation, with hope in my heart because the light promises us that this darkness will pass, and in the passing there are lessons to explore and gifts to be shared as long as we can be present, as long as we do not abandon ourselves along the way.