This Strange Year

Crossing Borders

This strange year, though filled with hope in vaccines and easing of borders and other restrictions, is now concluding with the emergence of Omicron, an even stranger variant to Delta.

The logistics of crossing borders are proving to be nothing short of a nightmare. Movement for thousands continues to be severely curtailed, with distressing consequences when family members have to cross borders, to be with their loved ones in critical health conditions.

People everywhere are waiting for this pandemic to be brought under control in order to reunite with loved ones. Our new-norm lifestyles keep propelling us forward, fuelled with the power of hope.

Joys of a New-Norm

Our jobs, local travel and socialising have morphed into different methods and settings, leaving us freer on the one hand, but bound up in isolation for work, education and other ‘zoom’ related commitments, on the other.

We are freer to notice and enjoy nature like we may never have done before. Personally I discovered the unique and astounding beauty of a Dragon Fruit’s flower that literally blooms for just the one morning period and then withers and fades away from the afternoon onwards.

I discovered, also, the real beauty of ‘Pony Tail’ palms that have decided to blossom all round our neighbourhood for the first time in a decade. Apparently that is the plants’ normal cycle, bringing much amazement and pleasure to garden lovers.

Border Crises

The simple ‘joys’ of nature in this bleak period, are in stark contrast to the complexity of displaced peoples, facing border crises. In recent months, several such cases have been reported in the cross-fire of political border-crossing battles.

From migrants trapped at the Polish-Belarus border, drowning of 27 refugees in the English Channel to the food crisis in Ethiopia, border-crossings have become living nightmares for all involved.

Hope and the Light of Day

The Light of Day, though, knows no borders, but dawns upon every living creature and brings hope of a better tomorrow, ever taking us forward. At the end of this strange year, amidst many reports of the variant Omicron, none was seemingly so ‘hopeful’ as the one by the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Could Omicron be our way out?’, in spite of the resurgence in positive cases.

As long as there is the Light of Day, hope continues on in our hearts, unabated.

‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John 1:5) is a verse I will cling on to, as the world sets aside a few days to celebrate Christmas and another hopeful New Year, in conclusion to this strange one.

Enjoy your Christmas break and have a Happy New Year with the family and friends that you will have around you.

2022 – here we come!

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