Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’ “

Alfred Lord Tennyson


Courage In The Coming Year

Moonlight sparkles on unsullied snow,

a fire dances in the hearth,

and inside these four walls,

peace, love, and kindness–

the comforts of home, reside.


On the final night of the year,

while others around the globe

celebrate and make merry,

I contemplate the promise that comes

with the birth of a new year,

struggling to find my innate optimism

in a world that seems to have run mad.


Endings are sad by their nature,

so it follows that beginnings should be joyful.

There is the expectation that comes with newness,

a resolve that the future will bring improvement,

that we will transform into our better selves.


But without determination, without commitment,

nothing changes for the good.

It has dawned on me that all resolutions

require courage if they are to succeed.


Courage to face facts and see them as they are.

Courage to find the light in the midst of darkness.


Courage to say no to the extra helping,

to one more drink, to the next cigarette.


Courage to say no to bullies wherever we find them,

to take a stand to stop what we know is not right.


Courage to teach our children to respect the old ways,

but to recognize there are things in the past that should stay there,

like hatred and discrimination because “they” are not “us.”


Courage to admit we aren’t always right,

that perfection is an unreasonable goal.

Courage to forgive wrongs,

Courage to remember so we do not repeat them.


Courage to remember the Golden Rule

is the core of humanity and its survival,

and the courage to live it everyday.



May 2017 be a brighter, kinder, more peaceful year, and may we all find the courage to make it so.


~Elise Skidmore ©2017

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