Good Morning Watershed Explorers,
Happy New Year! Truth be told, I started writing this post several times this week, and I couldn't find the inspiration to finish. My intention was to post something meaningful such as tips for living more eco-friendly in 2021, the top 10 reasons to get outside more, or important lessons learned from 2020. I would still like to write about those topics at one point, but more importantly, I want to share my point of view about the last year and moving forward into 2021. I do not consider myself an expert on anything, so please take the words below with a grain of salt.
My family was planning on having a very quiet New Year's Eve last night. We were going to stay home and either allow our girls to have an extra movie night (we are a very screen-free family as some of you know), or play some of the new board games that the girls received for Christmas. Late in the day, we received an invitation from our neighbors to go over to their house for a little while. Our girls love playing with their two boys and have been doing so outside daily since the pandemic hit last March, so we headed over for a short time. While at our neighbors, we watched several of the New Year's Eve television specials (we would have missed these if we were at home). On almost every station, I wasn't surprised to hear comedians making jokes about 2020, artists singing about the difficulties of 2020, and hosts talking about how everyone couldn't wait to usher in the new year and put 2020 in a box to be buried away.
I understand these sentiments. I too share in the disappointment and sadness that 2020 brought to so many people. However, my point of view is quite different. I don't want to forget about 2020. I don't want to just bury it away and never think about it again. The last year, reminded me about what is most important. The last year, provided precious time with my two beautiful girls that I never would have had otherwise. The last year, gave me time to reconnect with nature and share that connection through words, with my students. The last year, showed me how resilient and powerful groups of students and teachers can be when they stand together. If you want to forget 2020 completely, I sympathize, but forgive me if I want to remember it with my own fondness.
The global pandemic slowed everyone down. I hope that moving forward into 2021, that the pace will not just pick back up, but that many people will continue to take a few moments as much as possible to remember what is most important. Let's remember to be kind to each other, to all of Earth's creatures, and to the Earth itself.
My words to live by have never changed, and I am not sure that they ever will. One of my favorite people in the world, who lives just about as responsibly and admirably as anyone is Dr. Jane Goodall. My words to live by come from her, "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." I wake up each day with the understanding that I will impact someone, and I try dutifully to ensure that the impact is positive. I, like all of you, am human, and as humans we make mistakes. We won't always create positive impacts. However, if we can be aware of our actions and how they affect others and do our best to try to make them positive, that is really all any of us can ask for.
So whether you want to forget 2020 completely, "take the good, and leave the bad," as my mother-in-law always says, or remember it with a bit of fondness, I urge you in 2021 to remember, you are not alone. We are all interconnected on this incredible planet we call Earth, and we, like the delicate snowflake I spoke about in my last post, are stronger together.
I am standing with you and wishing you peace, love, kindness, and happiness for 2021 and for every year to come.