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  • Writer's pictureKelly Kempter

One Year Reflections

Hello my loves. Let’s reflect together on this past year. This week marks one year since our lives were changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, we have gone through an enormous amount of suffering and loss. I acknowledge how hard this year has been for everyone in our community and beyond. I know that many of you are mourning the loss of loved ones, taking care of someone who is sick, facing financial uncertainty, and are anxious about what the future holds. Through the grief and pain, we have come together in ways that have never been seen before, lending a hand to our fellow humans and standing up for each other‘s rights. We have been a country divided. We have such a long way to go in the healing of our hearts, this pandemic, the racist systems in America, and our politics. Yet I have hope.

What has this last year been like for you? What has stood out for you? What have you learned? Where have you shined? What have you been afraid of? How have you grieved? Reflecting on this past year, despite the pain, can give us perspective and a deeper understanding.

For me, like everyone, the pandemic came with a whole lot of struggle and strife. Knowing what to do around my bodywork practice plagued my days and nights. As I slowly came to accept that no one has all the answers and all I can do is my very best with a caring eye on humanity, things began to clarify for me. As you know, I closed down my practice for a number of months. During that time I was able to increase my hours at my UM job and lead a group of student temps who otherwise would have been without work. As an introvert, I’ve enjoyed working from home in my jammies overlooking my yard, listening to the birds. At the end of the summer I began to see clients on my screened-in porch which was a beautiful experience. Being in nature while giving sessions added a new healing element and I’m so grateful that this was an option deep into November.

The Black Lives Matter movement came to the spotlight this year in ways that may actually move things forward after so many years of struggle. I have made time to read and learn and reflect on my white privilege and racism in ways that I was not pushed to do in the past. I am so grateful for the leaders, writers, thinkers, and hosts in the movement towards equality. We all have a long way to go. I have hope.

The politics this year have been out of this world. I don’t even know what to say but I’m glad we have closed the book on the last four years and are hopefully moving forward with healing America. To that end, I’ve been studying Revolutionary Love with Valerie Kaur and feel inspired and supported by this virtual world as well as my local community.

On a personal note, we got a puppy in December and he has shines a new light on my heart. His name is Dijon Lewis, named after John Lewis. He is so much fun and also a #%$& ton of work and vigilance! I look forward to getting through the teenage years and seeing him mature. This winter I was grateful for the snow and the cross country skiing, which is one of my all time, tip top, favorite things to do. We also became empty nesters this year, sort of. I’ve been actively involved in the life of my daughter’s brother who arrived from Senegal with no English knowledge a year and a half ago. He brings a lot of joy to my heart.

I got my first vaccine dose a few weeks ago and I’ll reach max immunity April 1. As more and more people are vaccinated and COVID rates continue to decline I am hopeful that more and more healing can take place. As Spring quickens, the birds are chirping and migrating, the sun is shining stronger, buds are filling out, hellebores are poking through the soil, and the days are becoming longer. I have hope.

I leave you with a quote:

“When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists—as it surely will. Then act with courage.”

~ Chief White Eagle, Ponca

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