“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Happy New Year, beautiful people! I don’t believe there is a person among us who is not happy to say goodbye to 2020. However, I feel it is important to carry with us the lessons from the past year. Mom always said, “Count your blessings, life can change overnight.” I have always tried to count my blessings, but now more than ever. The past year has reminded me of how important it is to pay extra attention to the remarkable people in my life, as well as all the many marvelous details of which I have been graciously blessed. Most importantly, to hold tight to those I love. Life is so precious and COVID has also reminded me how quickly it can be gone.
While 2020 is now part of history, I do not believe 2021 is going to be all ‘cake and ice cream.’ Mask-wearing and social distancing will remain our good friends and patience will be required for a while longer. It is going to take time to get back to normal, but we will get there.
“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds. ~ Aristotle Onassis
“So many books, so little time.” ~
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a favorite of mine. I give myself permission to be lazy, not cook, and to read and read and read. A Santa-helper named Mike brought me a wonderful book for Christmas. I devoured it in two days. Only because my eyes became tired did it take two days. For anyone who is interested in France, the lives of the French after the war, and the Holocaust, this is certainly a must-read book. It is on my shelf with other books I consider to be ‘The Best.’
The following is part of a review written by, Linda F. Burghardt a New York-based journalist. (See note at the end of this post.)
“Filled with a complex mixture of aching sadness and abundant joy, A Fifty-Year Silence follows the author’s very personal journey across two continents and three generations. Mouillot is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and she describes this fact of her life in simple yet heartbreaking words: “I’d grown up in a universe that revolved around an unspoken maxim: everything can fall apart.”
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~
I also find these quiet days to be perfect for dreaming. Thinking of things I would like to do or places to visit once COVID is out of town. Many of us are eager to be with family and friends. To once again enjoy those warm hugs and sweet kisses. Others are keen to travel and complete canceled plans, which were made at a time that seems like ages ago.
And, there are those who want to learn new skills, such as cooking, painting, or photography. To register and participate in classes, make new like-minded acquaintances, all while learning something which is fun and interesting. These are a few ordinary things we have all enjoyed so many times and perhaps taken for granted. I know have.
“I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” ~ Nick Frederickson
Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a spectacular New Year.
Most of all I wish you health, happiness, love, and peace.
And . . .
May the angels walk beside you every step of your journey, in 2021 and always.
“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ~
Images: via Tumblr
Note: Linda F. Burghardt is a New York-based journalist and author who has contributed commentary, breaking news, and features to major newspapers across the U.S., in addition to having three non-fiction books published. She writes frequently on Jewish topics and is now serving as Scholar-in-Residence at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.