New Year: New Life or The Same?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

For more than twenty years, I’ve had a special ritual for New Year’s Eve. Before the drinks go straight to my head, and I have to close one eye to focus my handwriting, I make a list of twelve wishes.

Then, five minutes before the clock marks midnight, I eat one grape per wish and read them mentally. Once we hug and make the toast for the New Year, I open the prior year’s wishes card.

I can’t remember what I longed for last year, but I suspect I am not going to be able to scratch many lines. 2020 has left me, as many others, with life in suspense.

Nonetheless, I am infinitely and humbly grateful to God because of all the things that did come true. First, our business has survived the economic shutdown, and our work team remains unchanged.

My son returned to school at the beginning of September—as I blogged last—and contrary to all predictions against in-person instruction, he has not missed a day of class.

But most importantly, as of today—knock on wood—none of my close relatives and friends have fallen to Covid-19. In the midst of these circumstances, this alone equals to buying the winning lottery ticket.

Now, the question is, what will 2021 bring? In my opinion, the answer reposes on the desks of our rulers and their experts.

One of my favorite columnists, Charles Krauthammer—Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated in more than 400 publications worldwide before his death in 2018–describes the power of politics in the introduction of his best seller “Things That Matter”:

“While science, medicine, art, poetry, architecture, chess, space, sports, number theory and all things hard and beautiful promise purity, elegance and sometimes even transcendence, they are fundamentally subordinated. In the end, they must bow to the sovereignty of politics… Politics, the crooked timber of our communal lives, dominates everything because everything—high and low and, most specially high—lives or dies by politics.”

His words reinforce my belief that the civil population—the pawns on the chess board—are at the mercy, not of the virus, but of the decisions of experts—the towers, knights, and bishops, who dispute the ears of kings and queens of the world super powers.

It is worth it to remember that these so called “experts”, the heads of every major agency in charge of designing and implementing public health policies, are also appointed following powerful lobbying political efforts.

I want to make clear that, I do not deny the devastating severity of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, many democratic rulers around the world have crossed the line with dictatorial measures, stripping citizens of their civil liberties, all in the name of public health.

Anyway. 2020 is winding down, and we must remain hopeful that life will indeed improve. On my part, I wish all the words that are tied with a knot in my brain can be set free to write more often.

I have my grapes and other Colombian superstition things ready. And no, I am not going to sacrifice a chicken or pinch a voodoo doll as my dear husband claims!

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading and sharing!

Xiomara Spadafora

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