A plethora of bells at a sacred Hindu site, Nepal.
Saying it's been a tough year for many people close to me would be an understatement. With health issues, divorces and numerous upheavals, 2012 has proved one demanding challenge after another. Still, we are lucky, lucky, lucky to count our blessings, a privilege sadly denied to so many.
I'm thinking today of the innocents gunned down in a school in Connecticut; of victims of civil war in Syria, as well as those who succumbed to poverty or treatable disease in far-flung corners of the globe. I'm remembering brave schoolgirls and soldiers alike, who were maimed or murdered in Afghanistan. I'm thinking of the tragic demise of a rape victim in India and the struggles of those left homeless by storms or conflict.
I'm thinking of the re-election of President Obama and a chance to rise above our political differences and accept responsibility to do better; to act with intention and integrity. I'm thinking of changes coming and projects that matter and possibilities to make a difference. I'm hopeful of a long-awaited dream finally coming to fruition.
When my daughter was home for Christmas, we watched the Walt Disney film Pollyanna, a childhood favourite. And I was reminded that no matter how bleak things seem or how much time I spend worrying over what I can't control, I remain an optimist at heart. I still have faith in the "better angels of our nature," as Abraham Lincoln said. And I hope and pray that next year - 2013 - will be memorable more for its laughter and sunlight than for darkness and shadow.
Wishing you and yours a new year bright with promise...