This Year Will Be Full of Stories
A song from years ago by Counting Crows begins,
a long december and there’s reason to believe
maybe this year will be better than the last
The lyrics resonate as we experience 2020; I certainly hope that next year will be better than this one.
These COVID days leave us with stories to tell of how vacations became staycations, Facetime and videos kept us connected, drive-by birthday parties and graduation celebrations sustained us, and in person and virtual worship and learning became part of our lives.
We have been immersed in counter intuitive world of physical distancing and sanitizing for six months now. Actually, I had begun to think I had this new system down. I was getting the hang of dodging people on the Green to maintain physical distance and nodding or waving to other masked folks in town. Then, a couple of weeks ago, Milton and I (oldest pup Ella too) drove down to our little house in North Carolina for our quiet vacation. We have a great deal to do on our “retirement house” and I enjoy working on it. Something about dreaming of what can be and implementing the dream feeds my spirit. The time to just be, walk, and take pictures was renewing. And the consequences of pandemic life—the lack of people on the street, the inability to gather with friends, the limited places for curbside pick-up--alongside the hurricane rains, a tremor, and an invasion of cicadas reinforced the idea that maybe 2021 will be better than 2020.
Whatever next year holds, today we remember the words of the apostle Paul that remind us to learn to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves. What is in our future? We do not know, but we keep sharing the journey and stories that connect us one to another. Perhaps we even dream and hope that 2021 can be better than this year.
After you read the poem below by Milton Brasher-Cunningham, please take a moment to write a couple of memories that shape your life’s story.
I’ve been staring at my palm:
the little litany of lines that runs
from wrist to thumb, the deep-rutted
roads like poorly-planned highways
across a desert of aging skin—
dry riverbeds: canyons carved by
age and action, crossed and connected
by the lesser lines, faded reminders
of days when dreams roamed
these valleys like dinosaurs.
You’re right: I’ve been staring too long
to do much more than get lost in metaphors.
I don’t have the whole world, but there is
a handful of stories in these lines;
best to keep them open wide.
Peace and stories on the journey,