For so many, 2021 was a rough year and we’re not praying for a repeat performance. As I sit here listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its wonderful “Ode to Joy,” I am thinking the world needs more Ode to Joys and more Handel’s Messiahs; more Nutcracker Suites and Madame Butterflys; more Peter Pans and Hans Christian Andersens; more Georgia O’Keefes and Marc Chagalls; more Misty Copelands and more Mikhail Baryshnikovs; more August Wilsons and more Neil Simons; more Alice Munros and more William Trevors; more Dylan Thomases and more e e cummingses; more Frank Lloyd Wrights and more Buckminster Fullers; more Marie Curies and more Albert Einsteins; more “E.T. and more “Fantasias”; more Harry Potters and more Alice in Wonderlands; more gardens and more starlight; more wonder and awe to remind us that we are here to love and hope, not to fear and hate.
Look in the eyes of a five year old on Christmas morning as they dash for the Christmas tree and believe the world can be a better place. Listen to the laughter of friends and know there are moments to be cherished. Smell the air just before rain and be reminded that anything is possible. Taste the hot chocolate and let your lips curl into a smile. Reach out for the hand of another human being and know that we are not meant to be here alone and that there are those who love us.
I recently heard about an old Cherokee folk tale. A grandfather says to his grandson, “You know a fight is going on inside me between two wolves. One wolf is the wolf of love and hope. The other is the wolf of hate and fear. And the same fight is going inside everyone.”
“Which wolf will win?” the grandson asked.
“The one you feed.”
So feed the wolf of love and hope. And give the world a little more wonder and joy. That is my request for myself and for all of you.
I raise my glass to you and wish you all a blessed New Year, my wonderful Readers.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.