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December 21, 2011


Wisdom comes from being observant to this very moment: yes. So much.

Love and light to you.

Sorry not to say anything intelligent, but I'm SO GLAD that the winter solstice will be over (in Britain, 22nd December, 5.30 am - I looked it up!) Thank God we'll start to get out of that dark tunnel. By about 6 January the evenings start to get lighter more quickly every week, and colours suddenly become more vibrant.

All very best wishes to you for the New Year!

Beautiful thoughts. Thank you and Happy Solstice!

Thankful for expressions of light. Yours, a beacon.

"...Today that paper-thin edge of duality — that single but two-sided coin — turns its face, but neither one is better than the other. I believe in long journeys, the persistence of love, and the value of endurance: my face in the stinging cold, my feet that want to slip on the ice but find their balance, the sun’s eventual return."

Lovely, and I especially understand the ambivalence that exists in the natural world, which favors neither dark nor light but simply is, and how in this post the two worlds (natural and spiritual) stand side-by-side. Thank you.

Gosh Beth I came to your meditation as I was about to fold up the copies of my own Christmas letter a sort of annual report on the year... in the style of some I receive, so all of it about me and none of it as honest and self-sharing as your words here. The dark season is a time to go into the experience of incapacity and loss as well as to discover what hope remains. It's not a sadistic twist that the tradition of fasting during such times (think of Good Friday) arose, but a wise sense that to mask the discomfort is to thwart the awareness. But I have been baking too, and have not muzzled the ox...

I think the holidays were created to keep us busy so we get through these darkest days. I get on the weather sites and count how many minutes of light are added after Dec 21st. We're snow free and warm here right now (about 45 F) with a warm eerie wind blowing. Being snow free makes life easier but the snow makes our winter world lighter. And we could ski so it's a toss up. The alpine areas are making snow but my friends who run the cross country center are gloomy. The Christmas vacation week is a third of their income so no snow is tough on them. Last night we had freezing rain so himself was out on five ambulance runs in as many hours. 4 car accidents and one very bad slip and fall on the ice accident. He was exhausted.
We're both been sick with a viscous cold that is probably more like a virus so we need that peaceful week between Christmas and New Years. After Jan 1, our clients start calling. We will have a quiet Christmas dinner with our elderly parents right here.
I'd like to just stay in bed with books and cats.

I'm so glad that the days are now going to be getting longer. I find the darkness tiring, and I seem to want to rest and go slowly just when the hurly burly is at its peak.

nice post and there is wisdom in the last paragraph.Just finished a stressful and challenging week where everything in fact turned out astonishingly well so its easy to see obscurity and darkness turning to light.Much harder to see that when you get pummeled instead.I hope this christmas again there will be a book list,perhaps some commentary from you about them

Beth, I read your blog every day, but rarely comment. I just leave refreshed.

But I wanted to comment to tell you that for a few years, maybe six or seven, I have not been in the rhythm of Advent. When the middle comes, my wreath and candles and "progressive" calendar are still on a shelf in a closet, and I tell myself next year I'll get it right.

I can't say for sure why or how it matters, but Advent seems too squished right after Thanksgiving, and like you, I live in a place lacking sun and warmth this time of year.

Kate, in eastern central NY

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.