I sincerely hope you've all had wonderful holidays and got to spend some time with (at least some of) your loved ones, eating, talking, laughing... I like to use this time 'between the years' to reflect on the past year and write a list of things to look forward to in the coming year. I have also discovered that there is an old custom relation to the 12 nights from christmas until January 6th. In Germany these nights are called "Rauhnächte" which loosely translates as "rough or frosty nights". During these nights magical things supposedly happen. So I wrote down 13 wishes and started burning them one by one in the evenings starting on December 25th. These wishes will be granted by the universe and the 13th is mine to make come true. I think that is a wonderful custom and very fitting for the time of year.
As for looking back on 2020, we all know it has been a tough one. It started quite well for me, as we were preparing for the arrival of baby 2 and I had literally wrapped up my last classes as a teacher and started maternity leave when the pandemic hit Europe. We- as a family- felt very lucky to be in that position and my husband was able to work from home, so the first wave kinda went past us. Our baby daughter was born in April and everything fell into place quickly. She was a healthy and happy baby and our kindergardener the perfect big sister. Things only started to go south when my teaching positions disappeared due to the pandemic and I started getting more and more anxious about our future. The summer was beautiful and our little farm did ok, but we started seeing the effects of global warming as our harvest was quite small and many of the young plants had dried up. Some of our precious old brand apple trees died due to the draught as well, which really got to me. And then I hit rock bottom, when it turned out that I wasn't allowed to exercise again until early 2021 due to some complications during pregnancy. All of these personal lows were worsened by what was going on around us: the pandemic, rampant racism and environmental destruction.
But I came across the list of goals I had made in January and I remembered the word I had chosen for 2020: "Growth". All of these difficulties were frustrating but I know I'm not alone. Many small steps were being taken by many people every day to make tomorrow brighter. I sincerely hope 2021 will be better for all of us. And if not, know that I will be here weathering the storm alongside you.