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Perspective: A new year's meditation

Katie Andraski

I woke up on New Year’s Eve filled with dread. It seems almost useless to force hope onto a change of calendar, though I understand when a year has swollen with loss, hanging a new calendar seems to promise better times. Often it does. (Ours portrays mules and faces our toilet.)

Though grief endures, whether we want it to or not though in a hollowed out, painful way, it connects us with the people who aren’t here. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “Nothing can fill the gap when we are away from those we love…It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; he does not fill it, but keeps it empty so that our communion with another may be kept alive, even at the cost of pain.”

But I didn’t want to post my dread in the obligatory Facebook New Year greeting, so I said,

“Who knows what doors will open or where they’ll lead or who will be waiting at the threshold?”

I think how doors opening to our homes with lamps fired up against the darkness, can be full of promise even as grief walks beside us, that promise as ordinary as a blanket and a good book, and as spectacular as wind clapping our backs as the sun throws pinks and oranges against clouds sitting along the horizon, that promise as kind as doors opening to a neighbor holding a casserole or offering to help put up hay.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

Katie Andraski is an author, blogger, and retired composition teacher at Northern Illinois University