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The morning is thick with a deep fog. The cold, gray dampness presses in as my dog and I walk into the forest. Moisture drips from the moss-covered trees.  Mist hovers.  Gray all around.

There are no color photographs today, only gray-scale, black and white.

And yet ~ the Sun still shines.  There is light.

“They are just sun filters!”  the hospice nurse had exclaimed that day my sister and I complained about the chronic cloudy skies and significant lack of sunlight. Neither of us had lived in the Pacific Northwest in years, and had only come here recently to be near family.  Her comment made us smile, and became our standard line when we would go out each day, both of us craving more sun.

She is gone now, my sister, but I stay, waiting for the next move. I still miss the sun, and I miss sharing that missing with my sister.  (But how can I miss you? I find you everywhere.)

Just sun filters. Behind the clouds the sun still shines. The earth turns and the northern hemisphere tilts again toward the light. On my walk, I lift my face to where the sun would be if it could squeeze its rays through the fog.  Despite the cold, wet air I can almost feel the warmth, the promise of the coming light.

The winter solstice is a magic time ~ a time of peace, a time of promise. The light will always return, the seasons will cycle around, life goes on. Solstice means to stand still ~ it is the pausing before the turning. It is a good time for pausing, to be in the stillness, to contemplate what has been and what will be, and to appreciate what is.

Wishing you all a very happy solstice,
and may the Spirit of the Sun warm you even on the coldest of days.

sunrise in la pine

A Sunrise in La Pine, OR ~ October, 2011