No one can know what this year will bring.

The crisis that has been with us for most of the past year is still with us, and two things have saddened me during the time when the vast majority of people have tried to live within the guidelines.

Firstly, the selfishness or thoughtlessness of the few that has put the many at risk. Secondly, regret that now and again political opponents, at a time of national crisis, might just be a little more supportive or understanding.

Idealist as I am, I know that such thoughts are merely a pipe dream. With the forthcoming vaccine, however, there is hope as we wonder what lies in store for us in 2021.

In 1939, Britain was at war with Germany. It was a troubled time for the country. There was a grave threat to our way of life and our very beliefs.

Adolf Hitler was spreading terror in the hearts and minds of people across this country. With the sound of every siren, anxiety and fear increased. Uncertainty reigned in the hearts and minds of those who were alive at that time.

In that climate of fear and uncertainty, King George VI addressed the nation on Christmas Day of 1939. He spoke words of peace as the year ran to its close.

At the conclusion of his message, he read a poem that had been brought to his attention by his young daughter – our present Queen. She was only 13 at the time.

The poem’s wisdom, that was true on that Christmas Day in 1939, is also true for us today.

These are the words, originally written by the British poet and academic Minnie Louise Haskins, that the King relayed to the nation in that address.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

Our journey through 2021 may have begun in darkness, and it feels that way right now, but there is the promise of something else beyond what can be seen.

The day breaks in the East. There is the certainty of sunrise, and, confirmation that it is indeed dawn.

A new day...a day of new possibilities and hope. I wish all the readers of the Reporter a happy and healthy New Year. That day of safety will dawn!