This is a really tough time, in Watertown and all over the place. No more tinsel and egg nog. The wise men have come and gone. And we are left with frosty winds making moan. The news from Arizona this weekend deepens the bitter chill. Nothing short of awful, really.
I understand why the ancients in northern climes created rites and celebrations focusing on light. Of all the parts of the Epiphany story — wise men, camels, gifts, journeys, myrrh — I need the star the most. When nothing here on earth seems to be giving off much heat or light, I need a sign that there is more.
Next Monday, hundreds of people will gather at the Hellenic Center in Watertown to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This will be our civic Epiphany, where we follow the star he represented — the promise of a just and peaceful world for all children.
Given the bleakness of our civic discourse these days, I think it’s important we don’t just “show up” for such a gathering. For myself, I intend to make at least one new friend, someone I otherwise would not have met, because we are different in some way. This time next week, I want to be having coffee with someone who is a star for me — a sign of hope and new life and the promise of spring. Someone who forces me to walk my talk about overcoming differences and bridging cultures. Whoever you are, I look forward to meeting you.