Welcome to 2022

Hello, friends!

I hope your holidays were jolly and the new year has thus far been kind. For my family, January roared down upon us like a grizzly bear awoken too early from hibernation. We’ve had Covid, violent food poisoning, off-and-on public schooling, and in the midst of all of it, my mother decided to hurl herself violently to the ground and break her hip. This is the second hip she’s broken, actually. She’s out of hips at this point.

Up to this point I have been forging ahead, eyes forward, shoulders squared, jaw set, as I have dealt with each crisis, but this morning I woke up and wanted very badly to hide beneath the covers and disappear. Evaporate. Dissolve. Is it wrong to want to slip into a coma, just for a month or two? Just to sleep the sleep of the unburdened?

That’s where I’m at, folks.

Yet duty calls, and damn if it isn’t a persistent sonofabitch. I utilized a metaphorical crowbar and pried myself out from bed and here I am, ready (HAHAHAHAHAHA) for another day.

Ready or not, I’m here. And sometimes that’s the best we can do, and that’s okay. Just keep showing up and hoping for the best. One foot in front of the other, one breath at a time. Whatever you’re facing, be not afraid. Every tide turns, and this too shall pass. Take time to pray, if you are wont to do so, and don’t be ashamed when the tears fall and the emotions overwhelm. When the gales shriek around your windows, be a safe space for yourself.

That said, I wanted to offer up this bit of sentiment about new years and new days and new challenges and opportunities. I wrote this last year, and I still feel it with all my heart. I hope you enjoy it as well, even if you’re reading it whilst buried beneath several comforters.

**passes you the crowbar**

J.W. Rose

January second is a curious day
as the new year awakens and rubs its bright eyes
and the old year,
shedding tinsel and confetti
with its shirt on backwards, shoes in hand
makes the walk of shame
into oblivion
as we sneer
and throw stones

There are no bad years;
they cannot help what happens, after all
They begin, as we all do,
with innocence and curiosity
ready to do their best
and hoping for second chances

So let us bid adieu to 2020
without malice
without bitterness
without the malignancy that will eat us away
but with mercy, and a tender forgiveness
as we would have
for the penitent man being led away
to the guillotine And let us take the hand of this new year
let us refrain from seeking to force it
into our idea of “prosperous” and “happy”
but watch it grow
watch it wander and lead
listen to it speak, however haltingly
without our correction
let it lead us through every dark and light place
until we open our hearts
and discover peace.