It's that time of year again, when we stand on the threshold of the new year, waiting for the end of the old and the beginning of the new. It seems like we were only here a short while ago, on the 21st with an altogether more symbolic ending, or perhaps beginning. For most though, who did not see the significance of that day, the real ending comes tonight. Whichever you choose as the most important to you, it marks the turning point where the cycle starts again.
What a cycle then it has been - this past twelve months has seen more bloodshed and more tears than even I would have thought possible, with wars in all four corners of the globe - the uprisings in Syria that continue unabated, the protests in Egypt about the so-called too Islamic constitution, the conflict between Israel and Palestine and more recently the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in India. These are just four examples of much else that has happened in the world at large.
Closer to home we have also seen the crisis deepen within the Eurozone, with unrest brewing also within our own borders at the proposed benefit cuts that will affect thousands if not millions of working poor. It is ironic that this comes at a time when the banks who have been the cause of much of the angst try to out their own house in order - it is a noble effort to be sure, but perhaps a case of too little, too late, for this was also the year in which ordinary people such as myself moved their money in droves, to banks and offered a more ethical stance.
This year we have it seems seen many different chapters unfold with scandals being unveiled almost every day - not only in banking, but also in politics and the media. This though is a positive thing, as the more these things come to light, the greater the opportunity there is for change, a change towards a society where ordinary citizens and the greater good is at then heart, rather than the vested interests of the small minority. The theme for the year has from my perspective been transparency, for that is exactly what we have seen - where things are no longer hidden from view and everything is seen in plain sight (it has been hiding for a long time). Of course the politicians and the business people have done their best to resist, but in the end, it's a bit like The Borg - resistance is futile, for the tide has already turned.
The tides are of course governed by the Moon, which is in turn purveyor of the feminine principal and all that that represents, and so it is that we have also seen a rise in feminine power - women's rights have been debated like never before - the right for a woman to choose and have power over her own body and indeed her own life. The incident in India only serves to highlight this, as did the case ironically of another Indian born lady in Ireland who died following her Doctors refusal to carry out a termination, despite the fact that the child which was being miscarried, would not have been viable.
For my own part, the most significant external event has to be have been the Olympics, for this was the year in which the nation welcomed Olympians from around the globe into our hearts. For one glorious weekend at the end of July, the small village in which I live played host to the worlds media as the Olympic cyclists, both men and women, pedalled along our streets (perhaps I should say road, as there is only one of them), which were filled to capacity with people from all around not only our own county, but it seemed like the whole universe. A lot had of course gone on behind the scenes both before and after the events, and I would be lying if I said it had been smooth sailing, for there was trouble on the high and stormy seas. The Olympics were then for me both a blessing and a curse, the highlight of the year, but also a low point for what they showed me about the ability of a small minded minority to spoil things for the bigger thinking majority, but most of all about people's reticence to place themselves above the parapet and champion their own views.
Late spring/early summer was for both Coran and I a difficult time, with the Box Hill News debacle )after months of work LOCOG informed us that we would not be able to sell the planned Olympic issue), and my subsequent resignation from the role as Editor. At the same time, there as a series of deaths at work, other problems with the boss (for this read Director), who wrote some unwarranted and disparaging comments about the quality of my work, and some serious health issues that Coran also had to face. With love and support from each other, and from some very good friends (at times like these,you find out who your friends really are), we managed to get through and ultimately came out much stronger the other side. Adversity has a funny way of doing that.
There has also been much adversity in my own work, mostly from the Directors and the constant movement it seems of different Managers. At the end of October I made the decision to finally move on and put that chapter to bed. The last page will be turned on January 16th next year, the date that I finally leave. It will and has been a grieving process in many ways, getting used to the idea that I will no longer be around to make a difference to our lovely residents lives, but in the new home that I am moving to a new contract is being made on a soul level with a new group of elderly folk who now need me more.
For me it has also been a year of travel - to Avebury at the beginning of the year, Lundy in March, and the Isles of Scilly in June. I also enjoyed a week in North Devon/Cornwall during September and of course for the Winter Solstice once again at Avebury/Glastonbury/Stonehenge.
It has also been a year of books - and there have been some very good ones at that. This time last year, I made the decision to commence the Around the World Reading Challenge - reading a book that is set in every country of the world. I had been unofficially doing this for a while, so had chalked up a number of countries already, but during the past twelve months, have added about forty more. I have a long way to go, but am enjoying the journey, and learning much about the world at the same time - some good, some not so good. The one thing that I have learnt from all of it, as I have from my own journey, is that life although it can be hard, brings us nothing that we are unable to deal with, and beneath it all, there is always an opportunity to change and see the good, adversity as I said earlier, comes from pain, and so the pain and the dark, ultimately serves the light.
So now that the end is at hand, and we stand poised to usher in the new year, what do I wish for 2013 - there are no grand gestures and no resolutions, for there is really only one, that is breathtaking in its simplicity. I want nothing more than to be happy, and to continue to be the best that I can be, encouraging others, along the way to do the same. We could sit here and debate the purpose and the meaning of life until the cows have gone home, but that is all it really is - to find out or perhaps to remember, all that we are, and to continually recreate that in the next grandest vision that we have of ourselves. My wish then for 2013 is that others see this same vision, and work together to create a world where all that no longer serves this role naturally falls away, a world where growth and evolution of the spirit becomes the goal, rather than the acquisition of material wealth and things, where it all about what we can for others, rather than what they can do for us, knowing that this is the same thing, for all is one, and we are one with the universe. We are the universe manifesting itself through us, so I say, bring it on, whatever 2013 has in store for me, I am ready.