“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
It was not long before we realized that 2020 would be an epic year. Its challenges moved out beyond singular personal travails to envelop a shroud of monumental trouble among the greater community and the global, in what seemed most assuredly cosmic it was so incredible. The stuff of wild memory and outrageous stories told in the far far future. And everyone has a tale to tell, don’t we? Perhaps stories that will become legends that explain a reality we do not imagine now, but one we’ll be living as a result of the questions the epic that was 2020 presented us with.
I imagine multi-generations communing with elders who tell the story of those days and what we all had been through. Unless, trauma and lived experiences vanish into suppressed memory, as they have done many times before, becoming a confessional history that is dredged up in guilt or with surprise during some future cataclysm that overtakes us.
On this day, however, my heart is soft and open, perhaps unreasonably hopeful, that 2021 will be a year of answers to at least some of the fearful, angry, monumental, heart-wrenching questions of the year we have gratefully just passed.
The hopeful place for me in 2021 is a breathing space beyond chaos and that feeling that the ground is constantly shifting beneath my feet. I am wondering, is this the ground of Being that I acknowledge in my prayers? Perhaps it is. The ground of Being, the Spirit of Life and Love that actually does hold us accountable through its monumental, stark, unavoidable questioning it ultimately confronts us with. Shaking us, unsteadying us. So that we might —each of us— have Life. So that we might begin to understand what it means to fully Love.
Though we cast our hopeful anticipation upon this New Year in whatever ways we might, and perhaps for today sit in a momentary respite, I suspect we know deep within that our encounter with the epic and awful questions of 2020 is not yet complete. There is still so much that has been left undone.
Perhaps our greatest and singular task for this New Year is to begin to live into the answers the questions of 2020 aroused within each of us. We need not pretend we’ll find all the answers in this one year, just as the questions themselves were not formed in a singular year but were a culmination of all that came before. But perhaps we each might consider one thing that evoked a question that so rocked and unsteadied us, beyond what we’d been comfortably passionate and righteous about before.
What question from 2020 shook you to your core? Had you wonder not only about the world out there, but also the microcosm that is your life and how it connects with the whole — especially some troubling question you became newly awakened to.
Seek your answer to that, and I’ll seek mine as well. And may we create 2021 as a year of forming answers.