“Silently tracing the cracks through the chaos, grieving what cannot come back, what's gone away
Feeling the weight of sorrow's night
You can't find your way through the black
So you pray for light.
Everyone's trying to find ways to fix it.
You know in your heart what you need to work it out
Looking away to a violent sky there's a deep dark river
Rising on the inside. And you stand in the water with your arms crossed groaning Hallelujah, and the trees bow to the east as the sun waits under the sea. Fall into that mystery or it will pull you under. Fall into that mystery or it will pull you under. It's okay to say goodbye.”
— Matthew Perryman Jones, Stones from the Riverbed

I am braced for a long winter. The kind where thrumming silence meets the strain of survival and surrender because I must have both, stark, bare, the black of a barren tree pressed against the white of December. Head down. The weight of everything laden in my arms groaning hallelujah.

It's okay to say goodbye. Hallelujah.

It's okay to not know anything. Hallelujah.

It's okay to grieve all the little deaths in my life. Hallelujah.

It's okay to learn how to see in the dark. Hallelujah.

It's okay to not have language anymore. Hallelujah.

Mystery is the word I choose to honor my new year. Mystery is where I make my home. There's a strange kind of comfort to this,  the soft-hush-embrace of shal(om). I close my eyes and accept an unspoken invitation.

I say Yes. The other side of Mystery is yes.

Do you have a word for the new year?

Hillary McFarland