Let this year be the year where cynicism can be shrugged off, because you are strong enough to choose now.
Let this year be the year where you choose neither fantasy nor despair but faith. Faith in the simple fact of soil and sun, of grass blades rising, of flowers unfurling, of leaves being swallowed once again into earth and dissolving in darkness.
Let your heart be free enough and wild enough to risk unfurling, blooming, decay and regeneration.
In this year, wear stillness like a stone around your neck. When your chest aches with tightness, touch it like a talisman and simply breathe, without expectation, taking in the simple fact that you are alive and breathing, despite the weather.
In this year hunt, and cultivate. Hunt for opportunities to open your doors to the carnival of the world, its storms and crescent moons and travelers. Cultivate the flowers you see in your dreams. Every year has a color.
This year, let it be red.
In this year, learn to be generous, firstly with yourself. Practice making yourself at home, even in the middle of desolation, practice the kindness of a warm cup of tea, a stroke on the forearm. It does not matter if there are no elders to place their hands on your head. Pat yourself to sleep, like this. You will learn. May there be an infinity beginning to grow in the kindnesses you can show to your self. In this year, may you be loved, and may you learn to love more deeply the flawed faces in your mirror.
In this year, dance. If there is a river of music, plunge in and swim. Do things you have not thought of doing. In this year, do not go a day without a song.
In this year, surrender. If not to the soil and sky, then to your own heartbeat. Hold your heart in your chest like a delicate flower. It will never wilt if you attend to it, even through the tricks of autumn.
In this year may you learn to love autumn and its welts of red on the landscape. May you come to understand harvest, fullness, ripening and tasting. May the strawberries you dreamed of in spring, loved to sanguine in summer, be allowed to fall to the earth and become the sweet scrape of jam in your mouth on a grey winter’s day. In this year, learn that autumn does not mean an ending. Learn to preserve the sweetness, for your own sake, alone.
In this year, learn to stitch an extra quilt for winter, just because. Be of the kind of love that is a little more, just because you deserve a little more. In this winter, live with the extra quilt tucked under your bed sheets. In this winter, when you shiver, allow yourself to reach for it. Practice the warm discipline of love and insistent care, not denial. Do not leave yourself vulnerable to frostbite when your fingers are yet to be pregnant with dreams.
In this year, prepare to be broken by life, over and over again in a thousand different, difficult, daily ways. And in this year, live with the bone deep faith that breaking does not mean broken, and broken does not mean irreparable, and loss does not mean forever.
In this year, learn to wait for not just summer, but spring, autumn and winter.
You will outlive all of them.