by Shawn Allen

I hope you have a year of contradictions and journeys,
a year of mysteries and what is well-known.

I hope you discover something new that you love.
I hope you release something old that you no longer need.

I hope you complete one thing that lays unfinished.
I hope you begin something new that you may never see to completion.

I hope you do one thing that brings you joy.
I hope you do one thing that terrifies you.

I hope you do one utterly beautiful thing for a complete stranger.
I hope you do one absolutely selfish thing for yourself.

I hope you discover one great truth you had not before known.
I hope you tell one great lie that brings another hope.

I hope you know peace and chaos in the proper dosages.
I hope you experience plenty and lack in ways that make you grow.

I hope you come across one thing that angers you enough to work to change it.
I hope you stumble across one thing that inspires you to preserve it for everyone.

I wish you grand obstacles and the strength and patience to overcome them.
I hope your defeats are glorious and temporary, and reveal something about you.

I wish for you cacophanies and deafening festivals of noise.
I hope you have silences, and you let them fill you for a time.

I wish you fierce storms and fantastic afternoons;
Dark, starless nights and glorious dawns filled with more colors than you name.

I hope you feel lasting awe and brief despair.
I hope your ecstasies are many and deep, and your tribulations
few and transformative.

I hope you play the fool, the lover, the warrior and the magic-maker
when each is needed.
I hope someone sees you as the hero and another as the trickster,
and yet others as simply human, with all that entails.

I will save one prayer for you in your time of darkest need,
And I will pray you never need it.

When, at the end of this new year, you look into a mirror,
I hope you do not see the same person you see today,
and I hope you love the person you do see…