from the editors

 
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Dear Ornament Reader,

Somehow, the end of each year and the beginning of a new one always evoke strong emotions conditioned as they are by singular events in our personal lives and affected by the complex, greater universe in which we inhabit a minute but intricate part. As humans and not diviners, we are fated to live with ambiguity in the cosmic darkness, with never knowing for certain what are the true meanings of our lives or understanding the events and circumstances surrounding and enveloping us all. It takes patience and courage to live within such an unsettled state, to respect the process, and not force end results, but to let life evolve, as we know it has been unfolding in its subtly nuanced way for vast amounts of millennia.

      Within the cosmic darkness stars also brightly shine. And from those millions of stars we take encouragement to go on. To reach for the stars has always seemed a hopeful metaphor for reaching out and touching our hearts and minds to cherish and, importantly, preserve what is noble about our sentience—a deliberate choice not to be riven by the folly of that part which remains destructive.

A seventeenth-century philosopher advised that each day we ask ourselves three questions: “Who or what inspired me today? What brought me happiness today? What brought me comfort and deep peace today?” In this contemplative practice, we find ways to bring more joy into our lives. Our individual actions are better if they are transformative ones that honor the best in our humanity and promote peace and well-being on planet Earth.

For Earth, transformation is marked each year through its distinct but inextricably linked four seasons, those recognizable expressions of the forever-turning wheel of life. We inhabit a perpetually changing universe that has been touched everywhere by nature’s awe-inspiring beauty and its capacity to teach us when we are open to its innate truth. The more we know about this world, the more we will make it a little more meaningful—good and just and loving—and the more our existence will be about the celebration of life.

As we begin another new year we are especially devoted to expressions of gratitude. With this in mind and with our hearts filled with hope, we here at Ornament wish our family and friends the world over the best and most peaceful of times as we give thanks for the bountiful richness and depth that life brings and is ours to share with each other.