Season’s Greetings!

Sheffield collage artist Melanie Pearson "Les Fruits de Mel"
Peace on Earth

If you saw the bright star in the skies this week, formed by the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, then lucky you. I looked and looked but it was too misty here. As you probably know, it’s the first time the two planets have been so close to each other in 800 years, and that perhaps this was the same bright star that the shepherds and wise men saw over Bethlehem many years before that. There is certainly some perspective (if not comfort exactly) in knowing that this planetary alignment has happened before and that for all the fear, uncertainty and misery of this year, we are just a tiny human part of a great whirling dance and that this too shall pass.

Meanwhile, “Hark the Herald Angels” has been running through my head for days. I learned the descant part at school and always love belting it out with a crowd of carol singers but there’s not been much opportunity for that this year, alas. Still, I’m holding on for dear life to the idea of that bright star and a heavenly flotilla of angels and starlight filling the skies, and whatever can possibly give us some hope at the moment when so much seems to have been taken away. 

Whatever your Christmas plans this year, these times feel so hard. We thought it was going to get easier and it hasn’t, it’s just getting more strange and scary. I believe it’s called evolution and that we are in the middle of such a huge shift that it is not likely to be comfortable. I don’t know what to wish you amidst so much uncertainty except to find something to fall in love with. Something – an animal, a book, an idea even – that can carry you through these dark days and give them a sense of purpose. It has been quite heartening to see people for whom 2020 has brought really positive change despite adversity: a new business, a change of scene, an achievement. New purpose. I have not been one of them – I wish – but it does give me hope to see that it’s possible, change is possible. And despite all this adversity and cynicism and sadness and loss, I still like to think that there are angels are out there, singing songs that we have not yet trained our ears to hear but may yet do if we learn to listen carefully…

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