The second New Year’s Eve of the pandemic was a lot like the first. In the sense that many of the massive public parties that count down the last hours of the waning year were cancelled.
Auckland, the first city on the planet to officially see in the new year, didn’t have its planned fireworks display. So too Singapore. And London. And Los Angeles.
Omicron, a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus, is swarming across the world, causing a fourth wave. Unlike the first New Year’s Eve of the pandemic, no one is now confidently predicting its definite end.
That has made for a quiet start to the new year, but hopefully 2022 will pick up the pace as it gets going.
Here’s American youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman new poem, ‘New Day’s Lyric’, lays it out exactly. In 48 lines on struggle and healing, she says, “even solace can be sourced from sorrow./ We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,/ But to take on tomorrow.”
Here’s the whole poem:
NEW DAY’S LYRIC
May this be the day
We come together.
Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,
Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.
Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.
Steadily we vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.
This hope is our door, our portal.
Even if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.
So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.
What was cursed, we will cure.
What was plagued, we will prove pure.
Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.
Come, look up with kindness yet,
For even solace can be sourced from sorrow.
We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,
But to take on tomorrow.
We heed this old spirit,
In a new day’s lyric,
In our hearts, we hear it:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
Be bold, sang Time this year,
Be bold, sang Time,
For when you honor yesterday,
Tomorrow ye will find.
Know what we’ve fought
Need not be forgot nor for none.
It defines us, binds us as one,
Come over, join this day just begun.
For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome.