Dreaming in the New Year

The new year has begun, and many of you bid adieu most emphatically to 2017. I don’t remember another year’s end where the conversations and social media postings of so many welcomed so eagerly the passing of a year – regardless of where one fell on the political spectrum. The year was plagued with even greater political polarity, and unity appears unattainable. More mass shootings -- at a concert and a church, even -- devastating floods, and ravaging wildfires crushed our spirits, despite the heralded heroes who emerged and were highlighted with the hope they could also save all of us from desperation.This constant despair has led to exhaustion; our hope has fizzled and dreaming has eluded us. The only glimmers of hope were hidden among your fierce farewells to 2017; merely an assumption that whatever is ahead couldn’t possibly be worse. As 2018 opens, The Greatest Showman has hit the theaters – a musical biography of P.T. Barnum and his early exploits in the entertainment industry. The music was composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, celebrated composers of Oscar-winning La La Land. And my daughter has Greatest Showman fever – bad. The soundtrack is being blue-toothed into every nook and cranny of silence. Thankfully, I am also a fan. P.T Barnum, the child, sings this refrain to his young love at the start of the film: “Cause every night I lie in bed The brightest colors fill my head A million dreams are keeping me awake I think of what the world could be A vision of the one I see. A million dreams is all it's gonna take A million dreams for the world we're gonna make.” Now I sing along and I am inspired. Yes, I am tired, too. But I want to hope and dream again about what the world could be. Would you join me in the refrain? Would you dream with me in 2018?