All the best laid plans are weather- and Covid- dependent. The week between Christmas and New Years was gray, but unseasonably warm. I spent a few afternoons outdoors walking, including a long overdue climb up Mount Beacon near my Hudson Valley home. I was ready to enjoy the outdoors with lots of hikes in the month ahead! Then, this week brought more typical January below-freezing coldness. Frigid temperatures outside find me curling up on my couch under covers with a good book…outdoor plans on hold.
My original plans to visit friends last week were also changed, as so many of our lives were upended by the recent Covid surge. Many people have had to quarantine due to illness or exposure. The increase in cases has impacted plans this winter- from worship to travel to school to simply visiting with friends. Thanks to vaccinations, most cases have been light; still our hospitals, already low on staff, are dealing with the burden of those which are not. Everyone is burnt-out and tired- none more than doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers. Giving up a social outing is easy in comparison.
Disruption has challenged many of us to know how to plan or where to begin. This month our Soul Matters theme “Living with Intention” asks us to look not to the world outside our doors, but within, for answers. We may not know where we are going, but we can discover and live more fully into who we are. As we move into this New Year, I invite you to consider your intention for the year ahead: For what does your soul hunger? What are your deepest values? What makes you come alive? How can we help each other live into our values together?
Let’s explore these questions together this month- in worship on Zoom, in small groups, maybe even on hikes as we explore the trails of learning together. It’s hard to plan when the weather and the world are unpredictable, but we can set intentions by an inner compass and allow the world to surprise us along the way.