Monday, December 21, 2015


It's here!  Winter Solstice. Officially at 11:48 PM EST tonight. The shortest day of the year and longest night. (The day around which early Christians decided to place the birth of Christ.)

The most powerful day of the year: the day in which one contemplates what to conceive, fertilize, and nurture in her /his life over the next year (and beyond).  Darkness gives way to light, winter passes, and the Earth bursts forth with life. What we plant today charts our course for the following year and beyond; today's thoughts determine our reality, as Buddha would remind us.

(Words of wisdom, learned by experience: Careful what you conjure. Define all things precisely, leaving no details unconsidered, no stones uncovered!)

 Eliza and I head to Boone tomorrow to spend Christmas with Samuel (who's already there), Petie, Myra, and three dogs. I'm stoked! No doubt Eliza and I will sing a great part of the way down the road; Red Wolf will await us at the top of the tree in Petie's living room; our stockings will hang over the hearth for the 63rd year; we'll have an abundance of yummy treats; and the hugs exchanged will fill our hearts like fine champagne - bubbling over with love of family and friends, and the grace of the mountains.


This Solstice, I am particularly thankful for the freedom retirement has brought to my life. I got to be in the mountains for autumn colors, and I took a trip to New York City at the time when my colleagues returned to the classroom. I've had time to ride my new bike, walk with the dogs, and go to the YMCA at my leisure. I've had time to knit, make paper, play mah jong, and listen to music all day. Most importantly, I've been free to visit my mom in NC and spend precious moments with her. One never realizes how much work obligations interrupt "LIVING" until they no longer define each day. After 6 months, I'm still in awe of the joy I feel with the freedom that comes with retirement. And, I am grateful beyond words.

I don't have Solstice details for what I plan to offer to the Universe ready for words at this very moment, but my overarching thoughts about the upcoming year have to do with peace, tolerance, civility, and decency. There is such an absence of these basic principles these days that I sometimes believe people have forgotten how to love - or even that love is absent in their world. The energy of  hatred, vitriol, and intolerance encircles each person on the planet. It's essential for humankind to step back and breathe in the opposite direction. How do we manifest that notion? would anyone not choose such basic ideas to guide his / her life?  I'm still trying to figure that out, but I invite everyone to join me in working to restore each of those principles in his/her life.

For now, my go-to quote sums it up best once again:

"...I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, a healer of misery, a messenger of wonder, an architect of peace...." and "I intend to leave those whom I encounter happier than before and with a smile on their faces."

May blessings abound!

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