Being the last day of the Auld Year I am compelled to put fingers to keyboard, thereby making the number of posts for the year eight. This doesn’t seem as bad as I had thought it might be, for I am often disinclined to reveal my thoughts in what has been a year of difficult news.
It is as if I feel the need to avoid controversy – I am so conscious of the danger of expressing opinions that attract the wrong kind of attention. Very strange for someone who was once a warrior for and in all sorts of causes. Let’s face it, this could be the result of maturity and growing wisdom, or worse it might be sheer funk.
Commentators differ in their views about the state of the world. Some seek to reassure that things are actually getting better. There are supposedly fewer wars, less terrorism and not as many people are affected by violence or natural disasters. I am cautious about this, though inclined to optimism. The direct alternative to being positive, is to go down a black hole of apocalyptic whirlwinding. Perhaps I have been reading too much about politics, geo-politics and how we can make ourselves and the world do better in 2018. Even our not so esteemed Prime Minister is spouting hopes for a more just and fair society, though she doesn’t seem to have a clue about her own party’s role in making things worse for many hundreds of thousands of people.
So – I will give up the wider view and think of all the people who are with me today. Family members and friends who have passed on are very much a part of Hogmanay. My Granny is always with me, sitting on my shoulder reminding me to take up broom and duster swishing away the dirt of this soon to be redundant year. For me, it is a comfort to be able to pray that my special people of the past are resting in peace. And to have the hope that in years to come others will pray such rest for me. Then there are all my Loved Ones, far and near. Those in other parts of the world, in Scotland, firth of this land and struggling to make this world a fairer place. When I raise my glass of orangeade as the bells toll I will be thinking of you all.
For some of my special people there are parties, for others this is a hard time because of Loved Ones who are no longer here; for others, they have their people or the hope of them in years to come. I fell into a trap with a younger person a few days ago, speaking of the hope that I would live to see such and such an event. I was reminded that we cannot be so bold as to assume the possibility of bargaining for a specific number of years more. The only way to combat this is to make the most of each and every day now, seeking the support of others in love and friendship, in joy and through sorrow.
Sorry – if this is sounding like a sermon again. I guess you can’t take the sermon out of the little-old-lady any more than you can take the passion to save the world out of the middle-aged warrior.
I close with a photo of the growing Nativity Scene which now stretches further than ever – a metaphor for the hope that love always wins. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing I wish New Year Blessings for you and your special people.