Ending 2020: At the curve of sighs

Heading toward the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia, you stop at the Curva de los Suspiros or Curve of Sighs. From this bend in the road, surrounded by scree and scrub, you catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking, blue glacial ice. The end of 2020 feels a lot like that moment. Like a long, somewhat bleak, journey could just possibly be about to take a turn for the better. That a future, long-awaited, may be within our grasp. The year’s end, despite its entirely arbitrary construct, gives us the opportunity to pause, take a deep breath, look back and forward before diving into the daily busy-ness of life’s demands.

2020 certainly gave us many reasons to sigh. The staggering loss of life, harrowing scenes of despair, separation from loved ones and patently broken political and economic systems fed our collective dread in the face of the relentless onslaught of forest fires, extreme weather events, manmade disasters, conflicts — new and ongoing, and yes, the pandemic.

It also provided a tantalising glimpse of new possibilities as people — of all ages, genders, races, nationalities and occupations everywhere — transcended personal concerns to do what they could by way of philanthropy, volunteering, mutual aid and solidarity. None more so than frontline workers in health, sanitation, law enforcement and transportation. And those who stood steadfast against injustice and inequity. Co-existence or no existence was a lesson we all learned.

As 2021 begins, we hold our collective breath in anticipation and anxiety over what the year ahead might hold in store. I’d like to take this moment to thank you for your courage, fortitude, compassion and patience through the year, before rounding the curve into the new year with the knowledge that we can, when called upon, overcome even the greatest challenges.

Happy New Year!

Ingrid Srinath