“Loss, Resilience, and Hope”

I write this on the Winter Solstice – the “Longest Night.” Capping off a brutal, longest year. So much pain and loss. Loss of lives, of jobs and stability, of education, loss of trust and civility. Economic and racial injustice laid bare for all to see as a receding tide exposes what was underneath all the time. There is so much to grieve from this past year.

But there was also much resilience, gratitude, generosity, and grace in our communities. There are countless stories of people going the extra mile to assist others as they could. There was stepping up in the community to help fund organizations in the trenches with the displaced, the homeless, the hungry, and the victims of injustice and systemic discrimination. There were pots and pans banging from rooftops and windows to thank frontline medical personnel. And there are signs on lawns all over the place thanking all frontline, public-facing workers who deserve our thanks and praise.

And just as this Longest Night ends, so ends a year that we hope to never see the likes of again. There is hope that comes with the vaccines, and with the return of the light. There is hope that racial reckoning may finally be front and center and that “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters.” There is hope that we will again be able to hug friends and family without fear. There is hope that comes from all that “home” means.
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters wrote a beautiful song, entitled “Home”. One verse says:

“The echoes and silence, patience and grace
All of these moments I’ll never replace
No fear of my heart, absence of faith
All I want
Is to be home”

All I want is to be home. We need each other, we need our homes. On behalf of the Board and Staff of Habitat NOVA, thank you for your tremendous support in our mission of making home happen for so many Northern Virginia families. And a blessed and restful Christmas and Holiday Season to you and yours, and the hope of a new day, a new dawn, in a New Year.

Rev. Jon Smoot, Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia