Serving the High Plains

Hope we can counter darkness with light in new year

So 2023 is in the rearview, a little tattered and torn, thoughtfully packed away with all the bits and pieces tucked into their proper spaces.

It’s hard to jump into the new year with old business cluttering the path. It’s also hard to reach for something new when our hands are filled with baggage from the past.

Change is hard for most of us. Sometimes, it’s easier to keep holding on to something that no longer serves us than it is to find something new that fits.

While wearing the expectations and opinions of other people can weigh us down, our own expectations can be heavier. I’m jumping into the new year with joy. I’m leaving the opinions and expectations of others at the curb and leapfrogging gleefully to new adventures.

This year, I’ve decided to lace up my sneakers and get ready for my third marathon.

The first marathon, when someone snarked at me about my age and “less than athletic build,” I told them to stand back and take photos.

Then, I did a second one the following year to make sure the first wasn’t a fluke. I’m not sure why I’m doing a third. I can’t say that either of the two was a good idea; but it did fulfill a promise I made to a survivor of the Bataan Death March, Richard Allen Trask.

This year, everything is a special occasion; and every moment is a reason to celebrate.

Green lace dress? Sounds like a grand outfit for a Tuesday lecture. Chilly Thursday? Perfect for heather gray alpaca leggings. Green cashmere scarf? Perfection. Grabbing flowers to dress up my office? Absolutely. Cookies? Always.

This year, rather than building a bigger wall, I hope we build a bigger table. I hope we’ll make a seat for those without a place at the table. I hope we meet this year, and each other, with grace.

I hope this year we will be surrounded with people who’ll fight for us in rooms we’re not in. I hope this year we can counter darkness with light. I hope our steps will be guided with wisdom, that we will remember we belong to each other.

I hope that in all things, we can meet each other with love. Maybe 2024 be good to us all.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News and Quay County Sun. Contact her at:

[email protected]