Sunset on a Year

9×12″ oil on linen panel

Like many of you, I’m happy to see the fading away of the past year and have high hopes for 2021. But the pandemic and the past year did have its gifts. It has made almost all of us slow down. It has given us a pause to contemplate our priorities and has made us value more than ever genuine connection with each other and with the natural world. It was good to see, in the early days of the pandemic when roads had almost no cars and the sky was empty of planes, wild animals making appearances in urban areas. Were they there all along, but we were moving too fast to see them? Or, did they sense a safety in us not hurrying so mindlessly around? Change can happen so quickly… the world as we know it is not as solid as we thought. I’ve stopped taking for granite so many of the things we’ve taken for granted.

Rather than “getting back to normal” in 2021, here’s to starting a better way of being. When we are seeing the impact of so much dangerous misinformation and the political manipulation we are experiencing, this has definitely got to be a year for building relationships and opening up communication, especially with those we find difficult. I feel for all of those who have had their stability and livelihoods swept from under them, but also am hopeful that new opportunities are revealing themselves and as communities we can help support each other. What are you looking forward to most when we get past the masks? For me its handshakes and hugs. In the meantime, here’s a virtual one for all of you. Happy New Year!