Haibun for 2021

As I think back on new beginnings in my life, I’m struck by how self-centered or family oriented they all were. Graduations, the births of our children and grandchildren, weddings, birthdays, rejuvenatement – never say retirement. New Year’s Eves don’t really come to mind as momentous occasions – until this year.

As we have in so many years past, George and I watched the crystal ball drop in New York City’s Times Square from the comfort of our home. We counted down the last ten seconds of 2020. But this time, when we hugged in 2021, I was literally overcome with emotion. Tears flowed and I clung to George. I was surprised at the depth of my emotional response until I realized what it encompassed. Hope on a global scale. Hope in the form of a vaccine. Hope that millions will escape misery, ill health, and untimely deaths. This moment in our lives, was a moment shared round the globe. It was so much bigger than us sitting on the couch. We were simply a microcosm of a weary world, rejoicing in hope.

snow pack melts in sun
trickle grows to waterfall –
like hope rushing forth

Today, I’m tending the bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. We open 2021 with Haibun Monday. My prompt is to write about new beginnings. Think about how that phrase may relate to you. Perhpas you’re reminded of a new job, new garden growth, a new season. Anything that comes to mind in terms of a new beginning. BUT . . .
. . . I remind people that a haibun must meet certain requirements:
* 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose that must be true

* followed by a traditional haiku.
Traditional means much more than simply 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables.
Come join us at 3 PM Boston time and find out what a traditional haiku really is!

Photo: taken on our South America/Antarctica cruise in January 2018. Vincennes Rosales National Park, in Puerto Montt, Chile.

45 thoughts on “Haibun for 2021

  1. Ingrid January 4, 2021 / 2:27 pm

    You have so precisely captured that moment of hope felt by hearts around the globe this New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 4, 2021 / 2:32 pm

    I feel that hope as well… but I fear it will take much more time… it’s like running a marathon and realizing that you only have 10K left… that last part will be the hardest…

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 3:51 pm

      I agree….but at least the runner knows there is an end in sight. It’s like in the Boston Marathon….everyone dreads what is known as Heart Break Hill….the toughest part of the course. And when one has finished that, there is the exhilerating run down it…but then the realization that there are miles and miles left to go…but….the end is within reach. That’s how I feel about this. The vaccine gives hope within the misery we still face.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 January 4, 2021 / 3:16 pm

    Your haibun is just what I needed, Lill, a waterfall of hope!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 3:53 pm

      I truly believe, even with the UK lockdown, with Trump’s evil ways still riling this country, that the vaccine is a breath of fresh air and represents hope that is tangible. May it build and build and may more and more receive its benefits!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beverly Crawford January 4, 2021 / 3:25 pm

    Never in my long lifetime has a single event affected the earth and its peoples except, perhaps, World War II, and even that seems lesser in scope. We all have come to realize just how fragile life is, and perhaps we have come to treasure blessings we’ve taken for granted. We one, we all cling to hope for our future. You’ve aptly described the impact of Covid. Blessings in your 2021!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you for your comment here, Beverly. I think you are exactly right. Blessings in your 2021 as well….and a virtual hug across the miles!


    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 3:55 pm

      It’s there….it’s tangible….we just have to continue on through the hell to get to it….but it is there.


  5. merrildsmith January 4, 2021 / 3:47 pm

    Glorious, Lillian. I can imagine and feel your outburst. I sort of felt that way when Biden was announced as the winner. I think Björn is right though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 3:57 pm

      Oh yes. I was JUBILANT when Biden was announced. But this was different. It was like I had all this dread and stress and sadness and heaviness stored and packed within me and that clock striking 12 just cleansed it all out….such relief and tears just flowed….and it truly was a realization that it wasn’t just for me and my family and getting to see my son after what will most likely be 1 1/2 years…but the knowledge that it was the same feeling for everyone around the globe. The vaccine is HOPE. I imagine it is how parents felt when the polio vaccine was discovered and administered to children everywhere.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Glenn A. Buttkus January 4, 2021 / 4:16 pm

    Bang on, Lil, you nailed it. My choice for the haibun was personal and true and self-centered (you’re so right about that). I think your experience was nearly universal at the stroke of midnight. We are all in a heavyweight boxing match. We just completed Round 7. We are bruised and battered and bloody, but by God we will find the strength to finish the match.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 5:00 pm

      ” We are bruised and battered and bloody, but by God we will find the strength to finish the match.”
      You’ve got that right, Glenn!
      LOVED your post!


  7. msjadeli January 4, 2021 / 4:31 pm

    Beautiful expression of a collective moment for humanity, Lillian. Am guessing it’s similar to how people felt when the end of a war was declared. I love that photo also. It’s a magnificent looking place!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 4:59 pm

      I think there must be a number of momentous occasions where that profound sense of relief and hope is felt across the globe….yes. And oh my yes…that cruise offered many stunningly beautiful sights!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron. January 4, 2021 / 4:55 pm

    Wonderful work indeed, Lillian. I keep looking for that end-of-tunnel light. Sometimes I think I see it. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 4, 2021 / 4:57 pm

      It’s coming…..vaccines in sight! 🙂


  9. Mish January 4, 2021 / 7:45 pm

    Yes!! I love the way you describe the moment…..like one universal exhale! I can’t wait for my vaccine. So sad that there are still people that have blinders on to 1.8 million lives lost as they irresponsibly spread it around. There is hope, but no thanks to those people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 5, 2021 / 10:36 am

      Oh yes. We are VERY excited to get the vaccine! The first thing we will do is book a flight to North Carolina to visit our son and his family. We’ve not seen them since December 29th, 2019. I miss my son terribly and have told him: get ready, plant your feet, because I plan to run into your arms and give you the longest hug ever!!!


    • lillian January 5, 2021 / 10:38 am

      Thank you, Mary. I’m glad it resonated with you!


  10. rothpoetry January 4, 2021 / 8:31 pm

    A wonderful prompt and a great Haibun! You are right, this past year broadened our perspective and took it around the world. It also focused on how we are living to keep safe and free from the dreaded Covid-19. Your picture and Haiku are perfect!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 5, 2021 / 10:40 am

      So glad you enjoyed this prompt and my haibun as well. I truly believe the vaccine is the hope at the end of the tunnel. Control the virus and then the economy can begin to come back….people will be out and about and the hospitality and restaurant and retail businesses will begin to come back…and children can get back to having their desks near each other in school….lights (plural) at the end of the tunnel!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Tricia Sankey January 4, 2021 / 9:14 pm

    I love the image of hope rushing forth in your haiku. We are all ready to stand under that waterfall and be cleansed of this past year. Thanks for the prompt to let us all focus on new beginnings! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. calmkate January 5, 2021 / 12:18 am

    your emotional response resonated deeply, much hope and resilience is needed!

    Your photo oozes tranquility, I pray all your wishes will unfold.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian January 5, 2021 / 10:41 am

      So glad you enjoyed the haibun and the photo. Bring on the vaccine!


      • calmkate January 5, 2021 / 4:03 pm

        yes, many are waiting for it!


  13. Jane Dougherty January 5, 2021 / 9:01 am

    I think most people’s lives revolve around family. Only the great of this world place more importance on career and the accumulation of wealth.
    Hope in a vaccine or just that they’ll be able to keep their job is probably what is firing most of us up at this time. Happy new year!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Helen Dehner January 5, 2021 / 11:25 am

    This haibun is what 2021 is all about, your words captured it beautifully. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Dora January 5, 2021 / 1:45 pm

    A torrent of hope for the new year beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Misky January 6, 2021 / 8:13 am

    What glorious optimism you’ve given us!


  17. thelevinelowdown January 17, 2021 / 5:16 am

    Hope, it’s the most important emotion and what we all need as we enter 2021 and the unknowns that this year brings. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post 🙂


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