As this year draws to its end,
we give thanks for the gifts it brought
and how they become inlaid within
where neither time nor tide can touch them.
Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.
We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.
At the End of the Year —John O’Donohue
Transitioning and Welcoming 2018
As we shift from the turbulence of 2017 into the promise of the new year, it can be important and significant to look back and remember all the moments of peace, ease, interconnection, strength, tenacity, and happiness we experienced.
If you were aroused to take new actions because you were stimulated by the changing political, racial, ethnic, and immigration situations you encountered, you were most likely meeting new and different kinds of people, joining organizations, or contributing monetarily to a group that represented humanitarian rights. Your world expanded in ways you may never have expected. Your learning curve grew in adapting to all the daily rhetoric by the president, his staff, and the news media, and you probably read more to comprehend the altering world situation and the impacts of climate change denial. As John O’Donohue says in his poem, “We bless this year for all we learned, for all have loved and lost and for the quiet way it brought us nearer to our invisible destination.”
Remembering all we have learned provides us with both motivation and momentum to meet the conditions this new year will bring. Now is when we bring this new-found strength and conviction with us to embellish our energies. In Buddhist teachings, approaching every action you take is enhanced based on your intentions. Intentions are the mind states we choose in order to manifest and support our wishes and values for the future. This is the time we engage winter’s stillness and depth to slow down and contemplate what is most important to us. An intention can be compared to seeds that you plant, tend to, nourish, and train to bear fruit. The fruit is the gift that is born from the efforts and determination you bring to your undertaking. This is the resolution that issues forth that we carry into the dawning of all new beginnings.