Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Happy New Year - Keren David

 It’s Jewish new year today – a time when we reflect on the year that’s gone past and look ahead to the one to come. And what a year it has been!  

A year of lockdown and working from home. A year with no (or very few)  in-person school visits, and closed bookshops. A year of Zooming into classrooms. 

A year starved of human contact, a year of worry and strain and fear.

A year in which the importance and value of the natural world became ever more obvious. A year to reflect on climate change and how we can change and do better for our planet.

A year when our pets became essential mental health workers. 

A year of Zoom and Teams and strained connections. A year of working with colleagues I'd not even met. 

 A year of gratitude for the work of scientists and doctors and nurses. A year of vaccinations. A year of waiting and relief. 

A year  -  alas -  of conspiracy theories and fear-mongering, of panic and ignorance.

A year of inequality and unfairness, but also a year of charity and community.

A year in which writing was difficult. A year in which reading was essential. A year of box sets and bingeing TV. 

A year to reconsider priorities and ask questions about the state of publishing and the power structures within it. A year to listen to minority voices.

A year in which I spoke up about racism that affects me and mine. A year in which I faced my fears, and magnified the voices of those who survived the Shoah (the Holocaust).  A year in which Jewish kids in schools suffered antisemitism from their peers -  and were handed my book to help them through it. A year of sorrow, and pride, and carrying on regardless. 

A year in which human contact -  meeting friends for a coffee – was sweet and precious and full of joy

A year in which I was very grateful not to be home-schooling.

A year to remember. A year to move on from. A year in which we lost so many.

 A year out from normal life. A year in our houses.

A year like no other.  What will next year bring? 

Wishing all of you a sweet, happy and healthy new year.
( At Jewish New year we dip apple in honey for a sweet and healthy new year. The traditional food is honey cake, and you can find recipes galore here. Keren David's latest book is What We're Scared Of, published by Scholastic) 


Mystica said...

A very happy new year to you too. This last year and a half have been so eventful, all what you wrote is so true.

Rowena House said...

Happy New Year, Keren. What a past year, indeed. I hope an ease with writing (of sorts, at least)returns.