Of all we’ve experienced and all we’ve learned, what of this year is worth bringing with us into the one ahead? This, I think: the understanding that we need only the barest of necessities that assure our safety and well being — food, shelter, companionship, solitude, love, and the freedom to discover and nurture the creative spark, in others and in ourselves. In a word, peace. The absence of any of these, for anyone, upsets the balance for everyone. Our precious energy, when spent in the pursuit of frivolous wants in the guise of pressing needs, is the same negative force we see at work daily in our schools and in our streets; it’s the very war we wage on what is foolishly termed “foreign soil,” when the truth is, there is no soil on this great wide earth that is foreign, just as there are no foreign cultures, hopes, or dreams, because they are all of us, and we are all of each other, and of the soil. Borders? Fences? They are all arbitrary — embarrassing symbols of our fear and greed. But still the world turns, and continues its patient journey around the sun — that very star which will itself one day die. And if something as ancient and powerful as the sun must turn to ash, what, then, of us? Do we sincerely believe we are more important than the sun? In each and every moment, we are, all of us, ripe and ready to fall. By the time you read this, I could be gone. My wish: may we be as nourishment for those who live, and those who come.