Winter Solstice 2016
Solstice is from the Latin solstitium, which means “sun standing still.” Today is the first day of astronomical winter. On school break, I have granddaughters and their two friends at the cabin while parents are working this week before Christmas. We’re basking in leisure; sleeping in late, watching movies, backwards meals with cereal for dinner, leaving beds unmade. Eventually we head to town for groceries at 3:30pm. I am watching the time, very keen on seeing the Solstice sunset at 4:50pm today. We get our almond milk and dish soap then head back to Bear Valley Road toward the beach. Walking down the sandy path disappointment washes over me as I realize that lack of clouds will minimize the colors of sunset. My expectations and agenda corrupt my enjoyment of the moment. Fortunately, I am surrounded by fine teachers. Chilly weather in the 40’s does not dissuade the kids from peeling off socks and shoes to race to the water’s edge. Their embrace of the Now is infectious. This week I’ve been reflecting on the frequency of distracting thoughts that prod me toward impatience and dissatisfaction with life. Along the path I notice that everything I desire or need is really right in front of me at any moment; scrub bushes aglow in the low slant of autumnal light, sound of surf and smell of sea air, a sigh of breeze across my face, and the time to enjoy such beauty. I use the Solstice sun to backlight frame my perfect masters as they banter and bolt from wave to wet sand in the humble game of experiencing life to the fullest,…because it is simply so irresistibly delight-full.