Crossing the threshold into the new year has been challenging for me this year. Normally, I tackle my list, completing or adjusting tasks from the previous year and eagerly moving forward on a list of intentions for the new year. This year I have done this and that, now and then, but without much energy or focus.
This is not my normal rhythm, and since “rhythm” is my word of the year, I am paying attention to this change in my pace.
I’m not the only one whose pace seems slower.
My camel, the one I rode to the manger in Bethlehem and who now is returning me home, is moving slowly. Very slowly. Why isn’t my camel moving faster, especially since we Wise Ones dropped off our gifts to the Holy Family and the load is lighter? I do realize that we are taking a different route home, in order to avoid Herod. The way is new to me and to my camel.
My camel has been a faithful servant and the days on the journey have been long and uncertain, and perhaps it is tired. I am tired, too. I am weary of living with the uncertainty of these days and the plans unmet and the need to be ever-vigilant and flexible and resilient. Perhaps you are feeling this way, too.
Thanks to one of Diana Butler Bass’s recent blogs, https://dianabutlerbass.substack.com/p/epiphany-now I remembered that Epiphany is not just the day the Wise Ones arrive at the manger, but rather Epiphany is a whole season that lasts until Ash Wednesday, which, this year is later than usual, March 2.
Therefore, I whisper to my camel as I pat its long neck, “No need to rush. Take your time. I trust we will get there when we get there, and who knows what amazing sights we will see along the way. Didn’t we see the brightest of stars at the beginning of our journey, and oh, how miraculous that was?
And who knows what dreams we will have when we stretch out under the expanse of the night sky and what thoughts will occur, as I rest in the slow and steady rhythm of your movement, dear camel companion.
This journey into the new year may be a new direction, but one that requires a kind of spaciousness and time to unfold. Perhaps this year ahead is one in which deeper clarity and understanding will emerge, bringing unexpected gifts. My task is to pay attention, to stay awake, but also to rest when overwhelmed or weary. I trust your ability to guide me and get me where I need to be. In your good time, dear camel companion.
An Invitation: What is your rhythm as you move into the new year? I would love to know.