How Can This Be?

How can it be that the sweet stars, twinkling off and on during these brilliantly chilled nights; and the sun rising slowly in the morning, slow to cast warmth, slow to let go of the east; how can it be that the ocean waves, the sea foam blowing across the sand in that way that it does; and the light breeze and the green brown trees; how can it be that these things are not enough?

How can it be that War and Peace and Dr. Seuss; and Mahler symphonies, yoga sutras, bird song, the poems of Mary Oliver; how can it possibly be that these do not hold the same power for each of us?

How are these things not enough to hold each one of you firmly on the planet?

My 8 year old niece is bipolar, and regularly asks her Papa, my brother, to take away her suffering.  An elderly neighbor of mine walks daily, sad-eyed and all alone, around and around the block.  An 18 year old friend just took his own life, soaring off the Golden Gate Bridge in what his mother described as the "ultimate leap of faith."  Each of you have your own sad examples of the wonders of life not being quite wonderful enough to get someone you knew through another day.

For some of you, the world is plainly here to be enjoyed, and your life is mostly joyful.  I have a task for you.  For others of you, I know this is just not true.  You are here to bear witness to those I am tasking.

New Year's Eve brings empty resolutions and false intentions that swirl about like a thick fog, veiling reality.  Lose weight, make money, be happy and the list goes on and on and on.  It's boring, and it's usually egocentric.  Truly serious intentions are set with a mentor, a thoughtful plan to reach the goal, and not on any specific day.

This year, maybe, each one of you sunny characters- you know who you are!- could simply do a little easily managed, small-scale daily outreach.  Move your love on out.  Smile at a cloudy soul walking by, even though they seem distant.  Text a friend, every day, who is recently divorced.  Help a little old lady cross the street, just by walking at her pace.  Don't judge.  Be kind to every one.  Remember to look in people's eyes when you thank them.  Tell your beloved that you are glad he or she is home from work, and mean it.  Be patient with your dog.  Take time to thank the world for what it gives you, and then pass a little bit of what it gives you along.

For some, the sea and the stars hold nothing.  These are the ones that we must hold onto, for their lives are very precious.  They balance us.  We need their thoughtful shadows to soften our own sometimes too harsh brightness.  The sun is good, and so is the moon.  They work nicely together.

Happy New Year, absolutely have a happy new year!  I want you to make merry and enjoy all life has to offer you.  But for the sake of humanity, find a way to spread it around. 

jennifer durand