This was such an excruciating year for so many, and my heart goes out to everyone whose life was upturned in the times of covid — for the loss and heartache and stress. I feel it profoundly, too. I have no way to reconcile the injustice and injuries of these days. I wish I could. There is so much anguish for those who seem to deserve it the least, and so little accountability for those who magnify it. And it feels impossible, at times, to bear the weight of this collective distress, on top of the personal hardships.

I’m at a loss for rationalizations when things go awry. I just know that sometimes life does, indeed, hand people so much more than they should have to bear. And I’m not good at platitudes because I know what it means to be caught in despair, when hope seems lost. What I do see through it all, are the tender acts of angels here on earth, working so hard to alleviate that sorrow when it arises. And this year, at every turn, even in the face of some truly callous and cruel acts, there was also someone who lifted the load for another, who brought a voice of comfort in the darkness, or promised mercy in the depths of desperation.

Thank you to everyone who was that person. Thank you to my neighbors and friends who did their best to help, who did everything possible to protect others under frightening circumstances. You restored my belief in goodness and humanity when it wavered.

Thank you to my dearest friends who held everyone else up, who never stopped helping those in trouble — an effort made so much more difficult by our need to be separated and distant and, often, alone. And thank you to the incredible people I know, and the many I don’t, who kept on rescuing and healing injured animals, sometimes at great personal cost, with too little appreciation.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” ~ Rumi

I am grateful to every person who ignited a tiny spark of hope and love and resilience in the shadows of this pandemic — who let in the light to help heal and transform the wounds of the body and spirit that we’ve all endured. I will never be able to express how much it meant to me that you were there. I wasn’t always that light. This year, I so often needed the light of others to help me find my way.

I hope the promises we see arising for this next year can help soothe the many sadnesses of 2020. And maybe — hanging onto a glimmer of optimism through it all — we can actually rebuild this world of ours from these troubles, with more compassion for our beautiful planet and every living being she sustains.

I wish for much better times in 2021, and true comfort and peace for everyone.