Spring Fever

Old and New

It’s the last day of the year today – UK tax year that is – and last days always bring a twinge of melancholy and reflection alongside those feelings of longing and surging forward that come with new beginnings. So here, poised between the end and the beginning, let’s pause for a moment.

Reflections on the last 12 months cannot help but focus on the worsening situation re so-called Islamic State, cannot fail to bring to mind all those killed and maimed, and the outward ripple effect on their friends and families. So many lives wrenched from their paths and transformed forever, so much unhappiness and pain. So much fear for the future, for our lives and our children’s and for the greater picture: our whole way of life.

Thinking New Thoughts

But before we become too embroiled in those fears, too enmeshed and absorbed in our own lives we need to think, too, of the infinitely greater number who suffer poverty and hideous living conditions and lack of hope and education in the appalling existence of all those countries where the various terrorists already hold sway and exercise immediate and daily control over people’s lives. We need to think, too, of how our Euro-centric reactions can backfire further down the line. I can’t begin to write with expertise about these subjects, but I can refer you to the wise and thoughtful words of Simon Jenkins , currently a columnist for The Guardian.

So can we divorce ourselves from the immediate responses of fear and hatred? Spring has always been associated with hope: with new life and growth comes new length to our days; new light to shine more brightly on our dilemmas and help us see possible paths through the rubble. Let’s not allow the traps of others become the means by which we entrap ourselves.

Happy New Year.

(Why the new year starts on April 6)

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