Every year is our first, and our last, and our only. This year:
May we play. May we look as ridiculous as possible as often as we can in the name of abandon and giggling and childhoods full of smiles. May we be the first to give ourselves over to the joke or the game, to fall on our prideful swords, to hold ourselves loosely, carefully, with good-hearted scrutiny and abundant grace. May we suspend our cynicism and our disbelief. May we listen to stories, learn them, and tell them. May we make the laughter happen and keep it living as long and as loudly and as well as we can.
May we seek to be uncomfortable, for those who are too comfortable have much to fear and little to do. May the knowledge of injustice spread like hives on the skins of our souls. May we itch and ache and writhe for solution, for salvation, for equality and freedom. May we be less generous with our opinions and more generous with our time. May we be the last to speak and the first to arrive, shovels in hand, to do the hard work of change-making. May we save our words for the spaces within which we also intend to do. May we be hashtag activists AS WELL AS front line warriors. May we seek, and move, and be.
May we speak the hardests truths, the deepest shames, the secrets that own us with their silence. May we give ourselves and each other the offering of honesty, coupled always with kindness. May we follow conversations to the darkest and most frightening places and find within them healing and closure and community and truth. May we burn the bridges that lead to our destruction and toast marshmallows and glasses of champagne. May we say the thing we are afraid to say, and in doing so, set ourselves free.
May we love with ferocity, as though loving is our best and only right, our last and only desire. May we choose words that open doors and speak them. May we look up from our lives to greet each other, wide eyed and willing, vulnerable and alight. May we sling the sounds of love across canyons, collecting the echoes and naming them our battle cry, our rebellion, and our proof. May we throw our bodies into love’s softness – may we rest there. May we rest.
May we become archeologists discovering the moments of our own time. May we seek them with intention, brush away the debris, protect and discover and claim them. May we be curators of memory and authors of adventure. May we grasp stubborn-fingered at every possible joy. May we loosen our grip on our wallets and our devices and our forward momentum. May we sit open-palmed in the warmth of the sun. May we collect simple treasures – soil between fingers, sand, sea… may we breathe deeply as though we might swallow the sky. May we fill our lungs and our bellies and our minds with worship, and gratitude, and the warmth of each other.
May we take each other’s faces between our hands and whisper truly:
It is never too late.
We are always beginning.
Every year is our first, and our last, and our only.
Every year is ours.
Images by the incomparable Shannon Hannon Photography.