Pine Nuts: Name one good thing about 2020 |

Pine Nuts: Name one good thing about 2020

Most of us might agree, 2020 was the annus horribilis of our lifetime. But just as the darkest cloud has a silver lining, 2020 has offered one thing about which we can all brag and be proud. I can’t think of what that one thing might be just now, though it does occur to me that learning how to cut our own hair might be a thing to celebrate and be genuinely proud, unless of course you’re a barber.

I should think that my being the first person in our village to grow moss on my face should amount to something to brag about, though my dear mother covers her eyes when she greets me.

Flowers have become a small beacon of light in my life. I purchase a bouquet when I shop. Oftentimes I have someone in mind who might like to have them, other times I give them to the first person I see who looks like they need a little lift, and sometimes the flowers stay with the cashier. Little things sometimes smooth peoples’ roads out during a pandemic. I can’t tell you the amount of joy I got when I arrived home to a small container of spaghetti on my doormat with a note, “From a Secret Angel.”

When the Great Conjunction appeared right on time, after 800 years of high anticipation, an astronomer who was looking through a telescope on the beach at Tahoe asked me if I’d care to have a look. He took a few steps back, and I was allowed a peek into the distant past as it took stage-center in the present, and I was mightily impressed. I could see how three wise men could follow such a bright light in the night to Jerusalem, whereas left to my own sense of direction, I would have ended up in New Jersey, or some place where they were not expecting me.

Perhaps in 2020, we began to regard all dear things as dearer yet, and more precious. Yes, I think that might be a thing to which we can point …

I wish I could shake the hand and hug every scientist who has gifted us an effective vaccine. That’s it! That might be the central thing we can all look to with enormous pride in 2020, the dedicated and talented scientists, doctors, nurses and frontline workers who have managed to close out this most precarious of years with hearts full of hope, promise and gratitude.

We wish you a saner and safer 2021, and leave you with a New Year’s Resolution from our mutual friend, Mark Twain …

“I intend to live within my means this coming year, even if I have to borrow money to do it.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at


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