It’s a day to absorb the excitement of gathering and to begin a slow return to the earth’s turning.  At the solstice, even the movement of the sun appears to come to a halt, to re-adjustment, and so do we.

Yesterday we were discussing the odds of intelligent life outside of what we know, and I found myself looking around amazed at what is here.  I was astonished at our gathering of family, dogs, and one elderly cat, in our small, intimate space for two days, and now, I am with the intelligent life within and on this planet – well, perhaps diversity is what is better celebrated as we all have different backgrounds, responses, and perceptions.

The continuing rain means a fire in the fireplace and candles aglow, and showers and abundance for All.  

This quote comes my way today, guidance for movement into this winter season, and a new year.

“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces. She refuses all connection, refutes all arguments that she should engage in the world. She may say she is resting, but she is more than resting: She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive… Look into her eyes, this winter woman. In their gray spaciousness you can see the future. Look out of your own winter eyes. You too can see the future.”

–Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch

On another note, I always thought of the Saint Bernard as a dog who rescues those caught in avalanches.  I now know that it’s a myth that these dogs carry brandy in kegs around their necks. Alcohol brings blood closer to the skin, and isn’t helpful in keeping warm.  When it’s cold, we want our blood tucked safely inside in its circular route.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t imbibe a bit of holiday spirit, but then, I was tucked inside a family womb.

I learned today there is a Saint Bernard.  He was confirmed as the patron saint of the Alps in 1923. His image appears in the flag of some detachments of the Tyrolean Alpine Guard. He is also the patron saint of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering.  And here is his wisdom.  

Saint Bernard: 

Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit; it is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love. I love in order that I may love.

Sunrise this morning
Looking south for the rising of the sun
And the seasons circle round and round

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