During Lent this year, I did (at least) two wonderful things. One was a collaboration with my friend Maggie and some lovely musicians, singing the close-of-the-day service of Compline on Monday evenings in one of the small red churches in central Exeter, adding solos, duets and instrumentals to the ancient plainchant. We plan to do it again next year.
The second was to start a practice of gratitude. Every day in Lent, I wrote down three things that I was grateful for: as small as my breakfast bowl of porridge; or as large as the school strike for climate. Then I kept going. Even on days when nothing much has happened, there have still been things I can still be grateful for: a roof over my head; a ray of sunshine. I have tried to find different things every day, and even nine months later am still largely managing. I have received small kindnesses from strangers; I have shared coffee dates and meals with friends; I have met beautiful new people; I am still amazed by the women in politics on the receiving end of appalling abuse and still retain the fire to keep on keeping on.
I worry about the future of our planetary life-support system, of the UK, and of so many vulnerable people in our society. But inside me I am also conscious of a kernel, a small flame of hope. There are many people continuing to struggle towards a more just, healthier world, and I thank you for being you!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, with love and hope for 2020,