Beginnings and Bravery

It’s been a long, hard winter of waiting. Waiting for the virus numbers to decrease. Waiting for a vaccine. Waiting for a time when we can visit our friends, for the world to re-open. Waiting for the news of the American election to finally be finalized. Waiting for the inauguration of the new US President to take place without violence.

It’s not over, but it does feel as if there’s a new beginning. We’ve had several brilliant sunny days. There was a bit of snow last night and there’s more winter yet to come, but the bulbs I planted in pots on my patio are lifting their heads and promising that spring and blossoms will soon arrive. We can see new beginnings in many places.

In his wonderful poem For A New Beginning, (ODonohue-ForaNewBeginning.pdf (, John O’Donohue writes about a beginning quietly forming, about us waiting until we were “ready to emerge.” He writes about courage, and goes on to advise:

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

I thought of this poem while watching the American President’s inauguration which was an inspiring celebration of new beginnings, expressed most profoundly in the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman who offers both hope and a challenge:

 When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

You can read the full text of Gorman’s inaugural poem here, and it’s well worth reading the poem and watching this performance more than once:

It seems that beginnings are also always about bravery. Beginnings and bravery. We have been braving the coronavirus for some time. Now we’ll have to begin to be brave enough to see what’s possible and, as Gorman says, be brave enough to be it.

I think we can do it.

We must.

8 thoughts on “Beginnings and Bravery

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