My word for 2016 has been “WONDER”.
You can read more posts about our stars here.
I was excited about my word in January. The year was ahead of me and it felt hopeful.
I tried to keep a sense of open eyed awareness throughout the year, tried to be aware of the presence of the sacred amid the mundane moments.
I confess, though, that at the end of this year, the kind of wondering I’m doing is tinged with a bit of dread. This year was a bit of a dumpster fire, truth be told. Until the evening of Nov 8, I hoped politics would lead me down wonderful new paths of shattered glass ceilings. So much for that. The list of celebrities and musicians who died this year is long. And clearly 2016 is not quitting until the ball drops– Carrie Fisher died this morning! sigh. I was the girl who wore a Darth Vader shirt as a child, not the Princess Leia one. But still. Hard to get in a “wonder” kind of mood.
And then, in the midst of writing this post about how wonder feels far away, the mail came this morning. I received a Christmas card from one of my new cousins that I met this year on my birth mother’s side of the family. I opened it with gratitude and wonder to be included by my birth family, even as my birth mother has not wanted to be in touch. I’m so grateful for people who are willing to welcome me, all while having to navigate the privacy wishes of my birth mother. I’ve spent lots of time since I contacted them this year wondering if I was doing the right thing, wondering if I was putting them in a bad or awkward place, wondering if they would want to meet me, wondering what it would have been like to know them my whole life.
Back to what came in the mail….
A few cards later in the pile was a card from my birth mother. ….(insert a time for shock and wonder)…..I haven’t communicated with her in about a year, because she didn’t seem to want to be in communication with me. (I write those words to speak more about my intentions to respect her space and privacy and not as judgment, or even clear understanding, of her wishes). I’ve not been on her Christmas card list, needless to say. And I don’t really know what it means to her, because the card doesn’t really speak to any of that. I’m trying not to read too much into it.
At the same time, it’s not nothing. And I’m grateful to know that she took the time at Christmas to send me a card. It feels both wonderful and an action that leaves me with lots of unknowns to still wonder about.
We’ll be passing out STARwords for 2017 on Jan 8 in worship. At the end of this year, I’m grateful for the reminder that wonder can show up even in the midst of loss, political uncertainty, and dumpster fires.