“The clock chimes, the watches beep, time tick-tocks along, and the light spreads a little bit more with every passing moment. The eyes are wide with anticipation, no moves to open the door just yet, for the storm continues to be frighteningly chaotic. But the eyes are glued to that light, that first shining, glittering, glimmer. The first sign of light. The first sign of hope.” Camille Pfister
This last week, as I have for decades, I was blessed to be a part of Winterlight, a conference for young people hosted by Kanuga, an Episcopal Conference Center in North Carolina. Like most other gatherings this year it was held virtually. While we all deeply missed being together at Kanuga, the Spirit was alive and well in our midst. A great witness to this was Camille’s reflection (a fabulous young person with whom I have been blessed to be apart of her growing up years at Kanuga), one that she shared with her peers.
What I particularly appreciate in Camille’s wise words is how she navigates the challenging times we have found ourselves in. For me she poetically captures both the second by second movement of time and the longing for what time will hopefully bring next. It is a sentiment I think most of us can resonate with. Time is moving excruciatingly slow, and all the while we deeply long for what next time will bring.
I have yet to encounter a human who is not looking forward to moving from 2020 to 2021. Embedded in that desire I think is a sincere hopefulness that we are in fact moving from darkness to light, death to life. It is hard to say for sure just how far off the horizon is but we now see it. What then to do with – as Camille writes – “…that first shining, glittering, glimmer. The first sign of light. The first sign of hope.”
First and foremost, I believe we must keep our focus on the horizon, on the light, because that is where hope resides. I also believe that in these transitional days it is important that we take time to reflect, to take stock of what we have learned from our dark days. What do we want to let go of for good, what do we want to reclaim, what “new” has emerged that we want to keep leaning into.
During this time I particularly appreciate theologian Richard Rohr’s words, “While we cannot predict the future, aligning with the movement of the Spirit through an open mind, heart, and soul allows the future to emerge through us.”
Keep our focus on the horizon, learn everything from what we have and are experiencing, and be open for our future to emerge through us.
May it truly be a Happy New Year!