2005-12-30 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter What Endures

With Beverly Baxter
What Endures

BEVERLY BAXTERBEVERLY BAXTER Each year at this time I usually write a whimsical farewell piece to the past year and look forward to the New Year ahead.

However, this past year has been quite different to any other year in its intensity; therefore, I bid it adieu and run from it as one would run from an oncoming wicked wave.

In many ways, 2005 has been the year of the Tsunami, both metaphorically and in a global way with the Tsunami in South Asia and the Hurricane in Louisiana. In a personal way, it just felt like the Tsunami kept coming...with one crashing event after another. It seemed surreal, like a bad yearlong nightmare that one is unable to awaken from. Although there was much loss of mythic proportions with the Tsunami in Asia, the events of my personal life seemed to ride tandem with these insurmountable tragedies. It was in many respects a year of “just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse,” it did!

There was the loss of someone very dear to me, as well as profound illness and major surgeries. I was always raised on the power of self-will and on the false belief that one could will just about anything to happen with enough mighty, willful determination; and if you couldn’t, then there was certainly something wrong with your strategy or you just simply didn’t have access to the right connections, etc... I was raised on the belief that that if one had the resources coupled with enough self-will, you can will the world to work your way. I suppose that what most endures of the year 2005 will be the lesson that this formula doesn’t always prevail. You can’t prevent the death if someone is terminally ill and riding on a downward slide. No matter how hard you will them to be well, you will become sick in the process of willing them to be well. There are just some things that even we, with all our mighty might, are powerless over. There is much heartbreak in this lesson. As with the loss of a child, a parent who is supposed to be able to fix everything and make it all better and right, feels utter powerlessness. After all, we were raised on the adage: love conquers all. When it comes down to it, there are only so many things we can control; and when it comes to the things that matter most, there is so little within our reach that we can. The only thing we can hold in our hand is now and all of the good, laughter, joy, and love that is in this moment. Carpe Diem! Take on this day; and upon awakening from what was a horrible nightmare, comes the realization that, like that mighty wave, you’re moving right along...it’s a new day! Suck from it all the marrow that you can.

Happy New Year!

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