It is New Year’s eve as I write this. My morning has been productive. I’ve cooked an elaborate meal of vendekka morkuzhambu, beans parupu usili with ample help from Amma. I have two batches of Jalapeno bread proving in the oven, I also have four rounds of laundry in various stages of the pipeline from laundry basket back to the closet.
In the days leading up to today, I spent each evening cozied up with my three children on the couch watching one Harry Potter movie a day. My six-year-old would cling to me, shut one eye and close her ears but she persisted in watching the story to its end. Of all that moments in 2020, this is what I will cherish the most, sharing something dear to me with my children and watching them revel in the world of magic, good and, evil.
This week is also emblematic of everything about 2020. The intimate family moments, the constant vigilance, the social media wars on whether the coronavirus response is adequate or not, the political hand wringing, the self-righteousness on either side of the aisle. I started the year on a very optimistic note. As the year went on, personally for me it has been a milestone year in many ways. It has had its share of ups and downs but the highs are all I remember.
It has been a year that has had me go inward and reflect on so many things. I have lost friends, retreated into a shell, distanced myself from all creative pursuits because it demanded an energy I did not have to spare. I have been dabbling in learning astrology formally in search of answers to the seemingly random happenings that show synchronicity.
I have walked a lot this year. I have walked through three seasons watching snow give way to spring, the budding leaves burst into verdant greenery, the falling leaves coating the walkways and back to snow again. I have watched the skies most nights reveling in the magnitude of the cosmos. Mostly, I have been mulling on how Nature seems to be able to take care of herself. When humankind has extracted a toll greater than she could tolerate, she has hit back in a way that has forced a good many of us to reconsider our ways of living, where our food comes from, how we work and live. It has forced me to reconsider what education means and how much burden the educational system carries.
This year also has been one of political awakening not just at the national level, but at the local level where it matters. I now know which seats are up for election on the school board, what the board does and why it matters that I have someone representing the best of what I want for my children on my behalf up there.
As I look at 2021 looming, I want to be optimistic. What I feel however, is unease. The fallout of the changes from 2020 will be felt in 2021 in ripples. It will show up in the form of layoffs, market crashes, natural disasters and a renewed re-evaluation of our relationship to nature. I truly hope the vaccine will restore some semblance of normalcy in terms of school for children. But I am afraid to hope. The mutations make me feel the vaccine will be aiming at a moving target. I fear the changes that started in 2020 will evolve and become the new norm going forward.
So, here is what I am hoping for the year ahead instead. I am wishing for resilience, patience, tenacity and continued awareness of what is happening. I am wishing for changes at the top that will trickle down prioritizing education and healthcare for all. Most of all I am wishing for optimal health and an understanding of how a tiny microbe can put all of humankind in its place.
Have a safe, healthy year ahead. Happy New Year.