There are many levels of wisdom in an annual calendar: for example the recognition of being part of a universe, on a planet orbiting a star in a regular pattern, and the recognition of seasons within particular earthly ecosystems, and the recognition that we can assess our lives and create new intentions. All of these movements affect how we live. At the very least, they help us remember that we are in constant motion, always being moved.
Within these continual cycles, we can consciously move ourselves toward what I’ll call spiritual maturity. This movement is a combination of continual action and reflection – a process of continual learning. Learning to be less fearful and more courageous, less judgmental and more respectful, less self-centered and more aware of others, less reactive and more curious. These movements require intention and dedication.
A new year, according to whichever calendar is used, is always a chance to reflect, learn, and begin again. To see ourselves in new ways within the much larger patterns and cycles we are made of – as part of the universe, part of the seasons, part of a species, part of a community – inextricably related to all that is. We can learn to tell bigger stories about who we are – stories that are deeper, both older and newer, more detailed, and more true in terms of our relatedness and how we have been shaped. What new stories are unfolding within us and around us this year? What will we learn, and how will we grow? Perhaps we can begin with this, from Sr. Mary Goergen, OSF: “We are called to live with the knowledge and awareness that we are part of all that is and that our decisions have an effect on the quality of life for all beings. We are called to live this connectedness that exists between all members of creation… We are called to remember loveliness for one another until each of us can remember, believe and live in love.”
Once again we are blessed by the possibilities of new beginnings. May we help each other move forward.