Happy New Year! What’s so happy about it, you ask? COVID-19. The Big Lie. January 6th. All you have to do is read the daily paper for your daily dose of woe. The spirit of contention seems to be everywhere. “Happy New Year” just isn’t.

I have a little plot of ground in my backyard where I will plant tomatoes in the Spring. I expect that, if I water them properly and let Nature take its course, I will harvest a crop of delectable tomatoes in the late Summer and early Fall. My plants will produce tomatoes—but only tomatoes–and only what I plant.

Our minds can be likened to those gardens. They produce what we plant in them, but only what we plant in them. Our minds don’t care. Our actions become the products of our thoughts. The Law of the Harvest.

The story is told about how, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, a farmer had posted a sign which dangled by one staple from a piece of rusting barbed wire. He wrote :

Burned out by drought,
Drowned out by flud waters,
Et out by jack-rabbits,
Sold out by sheriff,

I am blessed by a family that I love. I am blessed by good friends, some of whom I have known for many years. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to give back through the students I teach. They give me hope. I live in a country that, for all of its problems, gives me the opportunity to think and speak freely and to make something of myself without the interference of the state.

I am profoundly grateful to be STILL HERE.

So Happy New Year to one and all! Stay strong! Look forward! All the best to us in 2022.

Mark Holland