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Every year. For the last twenty. On this date. I have a little ritual.
I clean up. Off goes the beard. Off goes some of the hair.
I sometimes fast. As I am today.
Then for thirty one days I do not shave. Until my birthday on January 21. My new year begins.
Closing one year. Entering the next. I need a little bit of introspection to check in and shift gears if needed. This year's changes do not feel that dramatic for me personally. But I am watching the world, and watching the ways in which we are all being called to change, and I am guessing next year will have some real surprises.
One year from now we have all heard about the end of the Mayan calendar, the the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle. I am not much of a New Ager, but I always thought 2012 would be a big change year. Just demographics and tipping points in my picture of the world looking forward 30 years ago. Even before the Mayan thing, I thought this might be about the right amount of gestation of the seeds planted in the cultural awakening of the 60s. Somehow, we would have the human experiment finally wake up to its crash course with planet failure.
But now I think... well this is what a paradigm shift looks like. What I am sitting in right now. It it is plates of tectonic adjustment in our mindset, with lots of little shocks and tests. Instead of the big epiphany, the social earthquake, It is a a gentle, deep and effective chiropractic adjustment in our sense of what it means to make society. And with those adjustments, with each spin around the sun, an unraveling of our 8000 year grasp on the planet, a grasp that seem destined to assure planeticide.
I will continue to listen for all the stories that signify that shift. The voices on the street, the questions that are asked, the sense of settled commitment to a new journey by those around me. I find solace in every protest, I find solace in every reflection, I find solace in the sun shining today despite the shortness of its trip across a winter sky.