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Goodbye 2020

My Letter to Year 2020: "Yes, it was a dark year. But one needs to search for dim light even in darkness."

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My Letter Goodbye 2020
In search of the Golden Rays after the Sunset!

My Letter to Year 2020

My Letter to Year 2020

Dear 2020,

It was just a year ago, when people around the world gathered together and eagerly welcomed you. They hosted cheerful celebrations, many people set some new goals and also made plans for their future. Now it is almost time for you to depart and hardly anyone cares much. Yes, it has been a rough year for all of us that we never even imagined even in our worst nightmares. Many people are eager for you just to leave and they believe that all problems will magically vanish after your departure. It is not the time to argue on whose fault it was, but the world desperately needs hope and inspiration.

However, my dear 2020, I still feel sorry for you for not receiving the proper farewell and goodbye wishes. Therefore, I decided to write this letter to you. Yes, it was a dark year. But one needs to search for dim light even in darkness.

All this reminds me of one event from my childhood. Once our family moved to a new town because my dad got a promotion in his job and was required to move to the new place. I was hardly 7 years old, but pretty excited to move to the new house. Unfortunately, I got quite sick for a while soon after we moved to the new place. A few friends and family members commented – “It is the new house causing all these problems. Bringing all Bad Luck!” My dad smiled and told them, it is not the fault of this house, but in fact our fault of being negligent and not being careful to keep our baby healthy. I got better soon and we lived in that house for a few years without any issues.

We may wish that we had a time machine that could help us to quickly go “Back to the future” or visit the past. But we all know that there is no way – we could go back, fix anything, and change what happened this year. Amma, the great humanitarian says, “The past is like a cancelled check, the future is not yet there. Therefore, you should live in the present moment!” We all know that in this fast-moving world, sometimes we do not even feel that we have enough time to breathe. And time just slips out of our hands. I really understood the true meaning of the message only this year and started living in the true spirit of the present moment.

Dear 2020, you made me realize importance of many simple things in life that I was totally not aware of. I learned the true meaning of compassion and how to be thankful and forgiving. I made more phone calls, sent loving messages, and spent more time caring for my family and others. I shared joy with others by laughing with them and I also shed tears to comfort some. I started enjoying nature and appreciating the beauty all around. Watching sunsets and clouds made my heart sing and I looked for the golden rays spread in the sky and a rainbow everywhere to pour those colors in my life. You made me realize that happiness is the attitude. Isn’t this called self-awareness? Well, then you made this awakening not just to me but for many others too.

There were some other small achievements that came as a surprise too. Since we got locked in our own homes and going to restaurants was out of the picture, I started cooking different dishes, inventing some of my own too. Although I never baked a single bread or any cookies before the pandemic, I challenged myself and was inspired to bake different kinds of breads successfully. The story goes on and on – making specialty sweets to fancy exotic dinner dishes. I never knew that I could cook so well. So, thank you 2020 for building that self confidence in me.

Since going out for movies during pandemic was not my choice, I suddenly found some free time on weekends. What would I do? I got some inexpensive water colors, acrylic paints, paper, canvas and some brushes and left doors of my mind open for the creativity to pour out. Not only it helped me like a tool for meditation, but I could develop my hobby to support some efforts to help the community. This felt like a miracle. I surprisingly found my hidden inner strengths and learned how to offer them for a good cause. As a Science educator I always look for art in science, but now I started looking for science in art!

I missed spending quality family time during thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, since we could not visit each other. However, I began chatting more often with my grandkids via zoom, that brought us closer. I had many zoom art sessions with kids in the family, puzzle solving with them, lessons to learn a new language and many more such activities. We had certainly developed a special bonding through our virtual meetings during this pandemic year. That fills my heart!

Dear 2020, although it has been a difficult and sad time, this social distancing is making me get attached and emotionally get closer to so many people in the world. You are certainly going to be remembered as a special year, many thinking of you as crazy year. But you start looking for dim light even in darkness. So, I still must be thankful to you, even in this sadness for the lessons we learned. You have certainly changed my perspective for the life and I am sure for many others too. At least you helped me realize that entire world is my family and I need to love and care for all.

Like this Sanskrit shloka says, here are my comforting words and prayers for all of my world family –

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, Sarve santu niramaya

Sarve badrani pashyantu, ma kashit dukkha-bhag bahavet

Meaning: (I wish from my heart), all people (in this world) may become happy, may stay healthy, see the good in everything and may never feel even the slightest sorrow.

So, my dear 2020 – with due respect I thank you again for this awakening call! Your lessons will be remembered as we try to live in the present moment of the new year! Goodbye to you!

Sandy Kulkarni

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