Published on December 29, 2020

Memories are made of this

Star of Bethlehem shows up to give us hope, healing in 2021

By Jan Edwards
The Bulletin

New Year’s has always meant a lot to me.

I even got married on New Year’s Eve. It is a time of reflecting on the year gone by. But this year, with the pandemic, that hasn’t been much to write home about.

The whole world has been rearranged by an enemy virus we cannot see. It has plunged the world into a darkening abyss as the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year) arrived. But as 2020 ended, it left us with hope.

At the end of December, the Star of Bethlehem (the Christmas Star) showed for three weeks on the west-southwest horizon of the hemisphere where we live, showing its brightest on Dec. 21. It is surmised that this is the star the three wise men followed to find baby Jesus in the manger.

It is not really a star, but the close alignment of two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, as they get closer together. This phenomenon last occurred 800 years ago, when Europe was still dealing with outbreaks of the Plague or Black Death – their own pandemic. When the world was darkest, hope came.

This year people are dying from our own pandemic. On the darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, with our nation in the thralls of discontent, The Bethlehem Star again showed up on our horizon. We can each decide what the star’s presence means to us. I choose to believe that it signals healing in the new year.

I’m turning the page on my life. That star signifies my belief that with the vaccines and the new protocol for COVID-19, by mid-2021 we will be able to again gather as we once did – go out to restaurants, see our family and friends, go to church and shop without masks and without fear. And I make a resolution to never take these things for granted again.

Next year, I hope that businesses can get back to normal. I resolve to eat dinner with my friends, the Buzzards, every Friday night and catch up on what’s happening to them in their part of the county. I hope there will be plenty of restaurants where we can find something wonderful and new to eat.

I resolve to watch the re-opening of the San Bernard with joy and cannot wait to catch Spec after Spec (speckled trout) with Roy in the light off our dock again as the river brings new life back. Then, I resolve to meet our new neighbors who have been moving in during the pandemic, and I’ll make Trout Amandine for them and the rest of the neighbors like we used to.

I resolve to take my furry friends, Skunk and Coon Dog, to the groomers more often and take more pictures of them. They have been so much joy for Roy and me during our stay-at-home time.

I resolve to write more uplifting stories for The Bulletin and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and finally get past writing the timeline and start my novel. I don’t know how to get it published, but I resolve to find that out.

I resolve to choose to be happy and give people in need a hand up – not a handout. While 2020 has been a tough year, I’m counting on 2021 to be better, and I’m letting the light of the Christmas Star show me the way.

(Write Jan in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)