Thursday, December 25, 2008

From Solstice to New Year

For me this dark time of year is the time of the Solstice and change to the New Year. It's a time to celebrate another year of life and look forward to the next. Since America was formed by men of Western Judeo-Christian tradition (some more so than others but all tolerant of it), the nation has long since celebrated Christmas. In my lifetime this winter holiday has come to be recognized as something far more universal than the Nativity Story. That has been certainly true of my own life. I long ago abandoned Christmas as a religious celebration. Somewhat later, as I became aware of our environment, Planet Earth, the solar system, galaxy and the immense vastness of the universe, I reverted to the spirit of the Pagan Yule. I also celebrate the Summer Solstice but that is a more personal observance since much the world ignores it or notes it only in passing. The near universal celebration and festiveness of this time of year seems to reinforce my own sense of joy and wonder.

So I observe the holiday along with the culture that surrounds me. Maybe it's the idea that somehow we can live in harmony with all other beings, all life, our environment and the planet that supports it all. But it's also about reconnecting and touching base with old friends and celebrating with those close to me. So I decorate, send out cards and emails. Hell, I've even bought a couple of gifts.

So it's only right that I wish the blessings of the season to all visitors to this space. I would remind all of you that you are among the most privileged and well-to-do people on this planet just by virtue of owning a computer. And because you possess resources, what better way to join the spirit of the season than by sharing with others, each in his or her own way.

Anyone who has been reading this space for any length of time will also know that this time of year is inextricably linked to Vietnam, arriving one year and leaving the next that's why this Christmas story speaks so directly to me.

Peace be with you and with your spirit.



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