This blog features reflections on current affairs through the lens of my Quaker faith and practice and offers not only analysis but a perspective on hope, renewal, and reconciliation - a “lift”, as I call it - during these stressful, chaotic times.
I hope that you will use the Comments feature to participate with me and with each other. I believe it will be enriching to us all.
Out with the old, in with the new, as we reset our calendars and lives for the 2021 year. So with warm - if a little tentative - expectations for a more hopeful new year, I send my best wishes to all for successful stabilizations and renewals in the coming year.
My SEP will be briefer this evening. I ended this already dramatic year with yet another surprise. At the end of a sunny afternoon walk last Monday I initiated a little lope down a grassy hill that ended with loosing control of my speed and body and finally folding into a thud of a wipeout against the brim of a gravel road all bloodied up. Fortunately a good soul saw me and called 911. Cathy got the call we all fear from the EMT ambulance that I was on my way to the hospital where she joined me as soon as she picked up the car.The “Bonk!" is that I ended up with a serious concussion, a bloodied face, but no broken bones. I was wearing a heavy leather jacket that saved me from more extensive cuts and bruises across my back. My concussion was serious enough (I hardly remember a thing for a few hours after the accident) that I had to spend the night under observation in the hospital. Because I take a blood thinner I needed a CAT scan and other X-rays to make sure I did not have more extensive brain damage. My brain slowly but surely recovered, however, and I came home the next day filled with gratitude that I didn’t apparently suffer more apparent serious injury beyond the facial abrasions and the concussion. I am still pretty cut up, sore and head achy from it all, but I’m recovering as well as could be expected. The whole event is somehow a fitting ending to a scary, crazy, unreal year. I compare my experience of barely avoiding very serious potential harm with the near calamity we avoided in last month’s election. And like the anticipated healing of my injuries, I am hopeful our nation can also carry on with the gratitude that a shaky democracy held and healing is now possible over time.
The most important takeaway from the experience, however, is that I am once again reminded how deeply grateful and fortunate I am to receive professional medical support and the good-will and care of family and close friends that were available to me in a time of crisis. And I am humbled that this would not be true for so many others in the world.
As I write this evening I am also thinking about how much I am looking forward to in the coming year, albeit with all kinds of trepidation and concerns given the ongoing political, medical, and environmental uncertainties . But like my body that was spared from a greater personal calamity, we as a nation, and as communities, families, and each of us personally, now have an opportunity to heal from the trauma of a potential national political disaster and the related economic and social challenges related to the Covid-19 epidemic. We still have very deep, historic wounds that will need ongoing antiseptic care plus the challenge of creating systemic changes that will prevent similar crises in the future. I will have much to ponder and write about in my Saturday evening musings for many months to come!
Blessings and peace to you, my friends,