As we welcome a new year, new possibilities, hope and support, connection, acknowledging that we may never quite go back to the way things were, as Tom Petty sang in “Learning to Fly”:
…Well, the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn
I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing
Well, some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I’ve started out for God-knows-where
I guess I’ll know when I get there
Happy New Year! This past year has been full of rocks melting and sea burning. But holding to our values along with our connection to others is how we move forward. I am reassured by the daily reading from DailyTao:
Whoever is planted in the Tao will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.
Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will become genuine.
Let it be present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country and your country will
be an example to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the universe
and the universe will sing.
How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.
—Tao Te Ching, Chapter 54
Regardless of deities, or source traditions, we are a faith that believes in democracy, in each other. This is in the ways that we value each other, even when we disagree. Unified in the notions of our worth, we do social justice work as a function of our faith. This is the anti-racism role that we take in our community. This is the involvement that we have within Pride. It is in helping our neighbors, the children in our communities, in the volunteer work that we do in schools and youth centers, and shelters. It is in our clothing drives and food drives. It is in our work to help others make meaning in their lives, or to promote oneness of all things.
Who are you helping? Kids in a school? Folx as they discover their identities and abilities? Institutions? What experiences are you cultivating, and curating to yourself? What attitude are you choosing?
I am choosing an attitude of both hopeful optimism and gratitude for 2021. I am filled with the spirit that I can make a difference. I know that each of us can and do, and I am excited to see what we can do with this new year!
Happy New Year, Peace!
— Rev. Will