Dear Life, how precious you are.
The Winter Solstice sun is born over the horizon, the same deep and glowing shade of red that we all knew in the womb. The same color that is illuminated through my closed eyelids if I lift my face to the sky at midday. The same fire that burns at the heart of the Earth is also the same as the ember that radiates in my own hearth.
This morning we woke early, in anticipation of daybreak. I looked at Fern’s silhouette as she kneeled between Jeff and I. She leaned forward and touched my chest and said,
You came from my heart and I came from your heart, right?
She turned to Jeff and repeated, And you came from my heart too, right Daddy?
Yes my love. That’s right.
Good Solstice morning to you, friends. Did you wake to say prayers at 3:11 am, to celebrate the new Baktun?. Or perhaps you were like the gentleman I spoke to last night who, when I wished him Happy Solstice, said, “What’s that? Oh, is that part of the 2012 nonsense?”
For my fun and snarky take on the 2012 hullabaloo, you can read back to the beginning of this year. I find the most meaning by greeting things as they are, with as much clear seeing as I can muster. I accepted the gift of the daily miracle, the unbelievable feat of another day dawning, and when I suddenly awoke at 3am, I fell back asleep by chanting the Four Immeasurables. Winter Solstice may be one of my favorite days on the seasonal wheel. Just as the light dances for the shortest amount of time, the Bard’s tune also welcomes in the promise of lengthening days and as Fern said this morning, And then next it will be Easter!
May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.
May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil, or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.
May the blind see forms
And the deaf hear sounds,
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.
May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food;
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness, and prosperity.
May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.
May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power,
And may people think of benefiting each other.
For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world. -Shantideva
Last night we took Fern to Tom and Jerry’s, our accidental, but delightful, seasonal tradition. (If you’ve been with me for a while…)
Fern was terrified of Santa, so no picture this year. Jeff, on the other hand…
Pay attention, because it all goes so fast.
Since I knew I would be deep in the trenches of present making (why oh why do I do this to myself), Fern and I had a very beautiful, and very cold, sacred solstice walk earlier in the week.
For the benefit of Sara…Fern loves her headband.
And so the day beckons on. I’ve not a moment to spare because my vast love for my daughter has compelled me to make her a present slightly out of my league. I imagine you are in full celebration and Get er done mode. WE CAN DO IT. So much love to you all, and I’ll see you next week, after we’ve all coasted downhill from Peppermint Mountain.
Joyous day. Joyous Life. Joyous Moment.