Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

As we embrace this shortest day of the year, I found this very interesting piece about the Winter Solstice in Newgrange, Ireland. Our ancestors designed this incredible place there to honor this day, this countdown to the year to come:

As we celebrate the Solstice, we remember that growth takes place in the darkness, to be brought forth in the Spring. It is a time for reflection, for peace, for gathering with loved ones, and for magical moments, like those at Newgrange, as reflected in this piece by Clannad:

Ah, always a transformative moment, listening to (and watching) Clannad. By the way, if the members of Clannad look somewhat familiar to you, it is because they are Enya's family. What an amazing family!

In any event, I hope this is a day of calm, a day of joy, of peace, and of one filled with love. I wish you all the same for the rest of the season, and for the New Year to come. And now, dear friends, I leave you with this lovely piece. Please sit back, relax, and be still:

Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again! Blessed be...


Mary Ellen said...

My daughter lets my granddaughter have a "solstice sleepover" every year. She has a bunch of her friends come over and they do projects like making bird feeders out of bird seed and peanut butter and they string popcorn and cranberries for the birds. Then they all bundle up and go outside to put them in the trees and bushes around her house. It's a great time to teach them about the balance of man and nature and respect for the earth and God's creatures. They really love it...a good break for them during their Christmas break from school.

Happy Winter Solstice right back at ya! :-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Mary Ellen, that is totally wicked awesome! What a wonderful gift your daughter gives your granddaughter, not to mention her friends! That is fantastic!

And what a great gift that story is to me - I love it!! Brilliant!!

It sounds like a lot of fun, too, I might add. :-D

Thanks, sweetie! I imagine you are mighty busy getting ready for Christmas?

Mary Ellen said...

Well...I'm trying to get ready for Christmas! My granddaughter is staying here during the day while she is on Christmas break, which is keeping me from getting much done. Also, I'm caring for one of her Christmas gifts...a Guinea pig that is staying as my house guest in a locked bedroom. I'm in charge of feeding, cleaning the cage and socializing it until Christmas Eve night when we will sneak it over to her house after she's in bed. Lucky for us, guinea pigs are very quiet. I told her that I had Christmas gifts that needed wrapping in that room, so she couldn't go in there. She accepted that explanation with no problem.

She's been begging for a pet for two years now,but a dog is out of the question because she lives in a townhouse with a very tiny yard (not fenced) and she and my daughter are gone all day. Not a good thing for a new puppy. She loves ALL animals (she's allergic to cats, though).

About three or four years ago we were in charge of keeping a Siberian husky puppy here until late Christmas Eve for my other daughter. THAT was really fun! I wanted to keep him, I got so attached.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

LOL, Mary Ellen - you are the most awesome grandmother ever!! That is so great abt the guinea pig! So cute!

Oh, my - I would have gotten so attached to that puppy, too. That must have been SO hard to give that pup up (and Siberian Huskies are SO gorgeous!).

I love the excuse you gave her, and how she bought it with no questions asked. Teehee!

I sure understand abt her loving all animals. That's such a great thing to do for kids - encouraging that love, connection, compassion, and responsibility.

Btw, there is a cat that is naturally hypoallergenic, and I don't mean the hairless kind, either. I had PLANNED on getting one of these next, just because they are gorgeous, but instead rescued two from the SPCA. Anyway, people have to be around them first to make sure, but many people do not have the same response to them they do to other cats.

This is kinda funny, considering the puppy remark - they are SIBERIANS! They are gorgeous:

Hmmm - maybe the awesome grandmother can get her one? Ahahahahah!!

Mary Ellen said...

Actually, my kids grew up with Siberian Huskies. We had three at once and used to show them in dog shows, obedience and confirmation, and we used to dog sled with a bunch of our friends who had Huskies (we hooked up five dog sled teams every weekend in the winter). (I had pics of me dog sledding on my old blog...I'm not sure if I ever put them on Bad Habit before).

After the first three Huskies had passed away, we bought another one...he was absolutely gorgeous! He was silver and white with almost black eyes. Honestly, when we walked him people would stop in their cars to ask about him.

Huskies need a very secure fenced in yard with room to run. Our last Husky, however, would never run away. If we were working in the front yard, he would just lay on the grass without a leash. Even is someone left the back gate open, we would find him laying on the front grass. The only time he would walk off our property was if he had a leash on. I tried getting him to come off the property without a leash and he looked at me as if I was nuts. He was such a character!

After our fourth Husky passed away we got our first Lab. Our vet laughed at us when we walked in with her...said we must be getting old, had to go with the easy dog that fetches our slippers. :-)

Mary Ellen said...

Oh..also, I had no idea there was a cat that wasn't hairless that was non-allergenic! I love cats, even had one at one time, but my allergies became so bad that when my daughter moved out, she took the cat with her.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Holy SMOKES, Mary Ellen! That is so incredibly COOL that y'all had that many huskies, AND that you hooked them up to sleds! I understand that they very much want to work, having been bred to do that. I recall years ago hearing that people who have them should hook them up to something they can pull - good exercise for them, too. Oh, I HAVE to see that photo of you with the dogs!!

They really are just gorgeous animals. If I didn't live somewhere that was so hot, I'd love to have one.

I love your vet's take on the change, though. Funny!

The last one does sound like such a character. I bet he was a total love!

I read abt the Siberian cats in a cat magazine at the vet's office, actually. I couldn't believe it! I have given my cats Brewer's Yeast before friends came who had cat allergies, and that seemed to work really well (and the cats loved it). But when I saw there was such a gorgeous cat that was naturally hypo-allergenic, of course I was fascinated by them! They are such incredibly beautiful cats. Who knows, ME, you might be able to have cats again! ;-)

Thanks so much for the story abt your Huskies. I can see it now...