As I write on this early winter solstice morning, and as the end of the year draws nigh once more, this threshold pulls me to reflect on the paths of this past year. It was with great relish that we were able to return to perform in some parts of Europe this spring and see so many of you. Making this connection is truly one of the most meaningful parts of my life. I also want to thank those of you who continue to write, sending me your thoughts, ideas and words of appreciation.
It appears we are living at a time of great change and uncertainty and like these dark days, sometimes it is difficult to see where we are going. And yet, I am reminded that there is still much beauty and richness to be experienced in the simple things around us, the natural world and the relationships we can experience in everyday life. And that I must not take them for granted or assume they will always be there just because they have been there before.
Too, I take some of my inspiration from souls much wiser than I, who encourage us to look out into the horizon of time and seek to serve the common good .They remind us that happiness does not come with serving just ourselves, but rather being of service to others, to seek balance and by doing so, our lives can be rich with meaning and harmony. This takes a lot of work in a busy and complex life, and so these voices nudge us to seek simpler lives, to sort out our wants from our needs and to consume and demand less of this earth, which is groaning from centuries of our over-consumption.
In difficult times, it often feels like the challenges before us are simply too big or overwhelming to respond to. And yet those wise voices, tell us that we can and must take steps to change even if it is small steps. There are times to be silent and there are times to move. I am convinced more than ever, now is the time we all must take our steps, even if they are small. As the saying goes “Although we cannot always be the boss, we can always lead.” These times demand that of us.
Our inter-relatedness demands this of us if we are to serve each other and the common good for now and in the future. In this vein, and interestingly, I look back to my Celtic roots to celebrate the importance of trees, what they can teach us and how we rely upon them for so many things. Oxygen, water, soil retention, shade and habitat for other creatures we enjoy and rely upon.
As the days will now turn to light, it is my wish that we will all be pulling on the wheel of the future with determination, generosity, forgiveness and love.
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