We are about to close one of the most extraordinary years of our lifetimes, full of events that we might only consider possible in an action-packed disaster movie. I’m pretty sure that we’ve all had moments in the past 12 months when we’ve thought that news headlines were truly stranger than fiction. And not just one thing, but multiple events, crises, uprisings, and reckonings that are both horrific and amazing.

While we as Americans and global citizens have shared in the effects of the pandemic, we’ve all been affected differently. The loss of loved ones, jobs, businesses, homes, physical and mental health, is so very heavy. The December holidays will be more sentimental, nostalgic, and melancholy than ever before and at the darkest time in our northern world. There is so much to grieve and I hope that we have the time to actually do some of that. Because it’s not just the effects of the coronavirus that are overwhelming. It’s certainly a major factor, but we’ve been in the midst of culture wars, nationalism, climate disasters, civic division, and a complete deterioration of our American democratic system. On their own, any of these are significant events and issues, but we’ve been experiencing these simultaneously with little pause to catch a breath.

My wish for you is that you can take a moment for a few deep breaths every so often and to find something to appreciate. That you can cry if you feel like it and are able because it can be a good release of pent up emotions that need to find a healthy way out of your body. I wish for you truckloads of grace and forgiveness for yourself and others. Most of all, as these days of 2020 wind down, I wish you moments of peace and love. For me, these are as foundational to our being as food, shelter, and safety. If these are missing, it’s nearly impossible to think about anything else.

The day I understood everything was the day I stopped trying to figure things out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.

C. Joybell C.


Published by Laura Nelson Lof

I'm a lifelong Iowan and a proud alum of The University of Iowa. I'm a writer, an armchair political scientist, and an accomplished sports spectator.

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