As for everyone I know, 2015 has personally been a period of intense growth and challenge.
The year’s passage has seen me blessed with rich opportunities to develop and extend myself personally and professionally, surrounded by incredible people who have come into my life to facilitate and support this process.
I have had my ‘shoulder to the wheel’ for a great part of the year as I negotiated entry into teaching at Monash University; new projects at my beloved Sandybeach Centre; greater participation in my professional networks across the globe, and attending to my too often ignored PhD research and writing.
I can say with gratitude that I have survived, and am now blessed to be back at Tootgarook on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula for a time of regeneration.
In the company of my precious family and friends I get to breathe again … to inhale the beauty of this time and place, and to reflect on a way forward that honours and builds on all that has come before. I get to imagine and set into place the enactment of each day’s learning that urges me to live more authentically, to connect more deeply with my world … to live each moment in love.
At this sacred time of year across so many cultures, I have this morning became aware of Disturbed’s haunting cover version of Simon and Garfunkle’s ‘Sounds of Silence’. It resonates deeply with the silent space of solitude in which I currently rest, as I await the collaborative, joyful celebration of the love of my family and friends.
I am reminded however, that our family have infinite choices about how and where we spend our time together, how we celebrate our love for and commitment to each other.
This is not the reality for too many of our global family. Too many live in unimaginable deprivation of freedom. Too many struggle to survive emotionally and financially each day. Through no fault of their own, too many are being unlawfully detained and are being denied their basic human rights.
So as I give thanks for the love, joy and abundance of my own life, I reflect on the words of Martin Luther King Jnr as they intersect with this haunting song. As I celebrate the gift of love and life with my family and friends, I consider the gift of people like Martin Luther who had the courage to speak up and speak out in the deafening silence … and consider how I might find that courage in myself.
My love to you and yours as you celebrate.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jnr.