It’s the end of the year and I am tired. Thank goodness it's the season of rest (said no human ever in December, though the natural world in the northern hemisphere would disagree). It has been a year of personal accomplishments and spectacular failures. A year of deepened relationships and relationships lost. And a year of several personal health quagmires and recently a death in the family. My year could be your year. It is a year of being human.
And being human is not a moral failing. We react before we can think, we respond when we are more aware, we hide when we are frightened, we get sick, we mis-communicate, and we perpetually learn what works for us and what is no longer needed. Life is a laboratory where we are continually experimenting and course correcting. But instead of resting in this tinkering, many of us suffer trying to strive for a static arrival.
I don’t want any of us to suffer. But denying suffering isn’t not suffering. It’s denying. Sometimes denial is a much needed survival skill and other times denial is what keeps us from the freedom we seek. To cozy up to denial and willingly take a peak around the corner takes courage and requires deep vulnerability and humility. It takes embracing that we are human. And humans are collective, transitory creatures. Knowing this - how can we rest in this knowing of our ephemeralness, which we spend so much of our lives trying to deny?
One simple way is to remember we and all of our neighbors are part of nature. Not separate from it. The trees shed and we shed. The crops have a cycle and so do we. Each form we take builds upon another and another. The weather is dynamic, the seasons change, animals migrate & hibernate, and the physical ends while the luminescent remains. Surrounding all of this in every nook and cranny is the invitations for joy, engaging our senses, communing with others, celebrating, creating, laughing, weeping, mourning, and above all else being.
So in this pause of the solstice. A marking of time of one extreme before we make our way back to the other end of the continuum, I invite you to pause and give witness to your very human year. Everything you have experienced has been witnessed by the moon, the stars, the trees, and other living creatures. Who has supported you? Where has reciprocity been experienced? Where has there been a falling short? And finally what are you most proud of? And how can you savor the tiniest drop of that pride to help sustain you throughout this season?
For 2023, my wish for us all is a year of being seen and support by those who care for you, a year where you become more you and are welcomed for it, and a year where being human is filled with more ease and joy.