By Laura Keil, Publisher/Editor

I laughed at my former self this week, when I picked up a copy of the Dunster anthology Long Winters, Short Stories and re-read the bio I’d written last spring.

“This year she leaves the newspaper world behind to make more time for her creative writing which has been her lifelong passion.”

My cheeks flushed when I read it but I couldn’t help but laugh as well. So many things I’ve set my sights on this year have fallen through. And yet, the funny thing is, the actual outcomes haven’t been all bad. I don’t think I’m alone in pouring my hopes into tangible things that become symbols for my real wants and needs. When those things don’t materialize, it feels like my hopes are dashed. But these things we fixate on, if we really reflect on them, are often just stand-ins for a want or desire we can fulfill in a different way.

Sometimes the situation can even turn out better.

My aunt, who lives in Hope and recently sheltered a dozen people during the catastrophic highway slides and flooding, was telling me how COVID-19 has been her teacher on letting go of expectations. Many of us get used to a fairly high level of control in our lives. But outside forces don’t honour our well-laid plans. Our detailed visualizations of the future are just that—visualizations. Reality is an alternate universe.

The great thing is that people are resilient. When one plan is cancelled or stopped, often it’s mere hours before another is pushing through the soil of our creative minds.

This holiday season, rather than lamenting the year behind me, the plans that never occurred, I plan to remind myself that nothing is ever certain, nothing can be controlled in the way we desire, but reality is always there to welcome us to the present.

As Buddha said, “the root of suffering is attachment.”

Let us be freer than we’ve ever been.