It has become a tradition in my house to spend a good portion of December 31st in meditation. We schedule 5 or 6 meditation hours with at least one hour in between, the first hour to begin the day at 7am, and the last to end the year in meditation, ending at midnight. This exercise is not so much about reflecting on the past year, or preparing for the coming year, but to mark the passing of time in the presence of God.
The past year has given us all more than enough to reflect on and let go. I think of detachment as I left my mission in Kenya, not knowing when I will return. I think of vulnerability as a virus threatened my own sense of safety and health, and that of my family and friends as well. I think of grief, as so many lives have been lost, and family members continue to suffer and fight against cancer. I also reflect on the connections between friends and family that have been strengthened. I reflect on the welcome and belonging I feel here at Maryknoll among my sisters. I am grateful for opportunities to do new things, to create art and to share my art with others. I am thankful to still be breathing.
The new year brings many unknowns. Can we ever really know what the future brings. One thing I continue to work on is being at ease with uncertainty, or ambiguity. My meditation practice helps me to stay in the present moment, to sit with God. In that moment, I can let go of the questions of the future, I can be less anxious about the decisions I cannot make now. In meditation, I can abandon myself in God for a time, knowing that beyond meditation, God will still be with me and I can trust that all will be well.
This year I have been mindful of the calendar as a tool that creates a marking in time. Today is just as yesterday was, as tomorrow will be, given there will be no extraordinary event to mark. But through the calendar, we have a way to mark the end of a year, the beginning of the next. We make it extraordinary by naming it so. If I am mindful in my meditation, in my marking of this time, what will be new in this new year is not a change from outside, but a change within me. I am new this day and this year as my meditation has taken me to a new place within.