Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, Solstice and Surprises

Today is the Winter Solstice and our Morning Prayer celebrated it with this prayer: "In the heart of every person on this earth burns the spark of luminous goodness; in no heart is there total darkness. As we celebrate this winter solstice--the returning of the sun, may we call forth from one another the light and the love that is hidden in every heart by our lives and service, by our prayers and love."

The blizzard that swept up the east coast this weekend did not come far enough inland to affect us--our weekend was cold, but mild--perfect for an afternoon walk to the lake. Here are some scenes. The first two were taken right at the bend in Seven-Mile Creek, the first one is looking left, the second looking right.

Same thing with these two shots; we were standing at the top of the steps down at the lake. First one is looking left or west, then just pivot and look east.

Finally, on our way back we cut through the woods, passed the hermitages, and as we began to emerge out onto the back lawn look what we ran into--almost literally! They are easy to see these days as you can see right into the woods for yards, but it's so dark (4:50 pm till 7:25 am) most of our viewing is from bedroom windows in the morning or from cars returning home at the end of the work day.

December 13th was the one-year anniversary of the photo of the chapel windows and their reflections that you see on the right. As luck would have it, this year December 13 dawned sunny and bright. Another sister and I ran for our cameras right after prayer and tried to catch some photos of this unique time of the year for our south windows. I tried to catch all eight windows and their reflection on the ceramic tile. Here's one:

And from the poet Sally Dyck:

Winter sleeps heavily in the spirit;
Eyes are windows to the glacial land;
Fog curls into the valleys of decision;
No way forward: where is God
in the winter of the soul?

Faces smile and flash content
but like sparkling snow cover
the dirty slush of despair.
In silhouetted barren branches;
Nothing growing, nothing resting...emptiness.

Where is God in the winter of the soul?
Will ice-logged rivers of love flow again;
Will warmth burn away the cold?
Believing in things unseen:
hope is the winter name of God.

(Click any photo to enlarge.)