The turning of the year

solstice tree

Our solstice tree, decorated with water drop baubles and critters of all sorts.

Here we are at the turning of the year. It’s been a hard year in many ways. My particular concern has been the environment and natural resources. I’ve had to witness oil and gas interests take precedence over the protection of fragile landscapes, sacred cultural resources and vulnerable water supplies. Wildfires have devastated Northern California, where I live, including parts of Santa Rosa, the city where we go for many services. A huge fire now threatens Santa Barbara, in southern California, where I lived in the 1970s. Here on the northern coast, warming ocean temperatures have wrought havoc on the kelp forests and the sea creatures that depend on them. Throughout the world, as starving people flee drought-stricken lands, tribal hostilities are increasing.

Meanwhile, the days follow each other. The sun’s arc rises lower and lower in the sky, its rising and setting further and further to the south, and the darkness of longer duration. There will be a pause, a solstice or sun-standing-still, and then a return of the light, and we will celebrate, in our various spiritual traditions, a return of hope.

May you all find hope and joy in the days to come.

6 Responses to “The turning of the year”

  • Marilyn Wills:

    Indeed, it’s been disappointing year. We all have much to learn and do. We are so proud of our Russian-born daughter-in-law, who, with a friend, spearhead the Benicia Resistance. I am heartened by seeing young people, who have very busy, stressful lives, take action to improve our future.

    Amazingly, our sons are now middle-aged and our grandchildren are teenagers!

    I feel like I have accomplished what is possible at The Children’s Garden, and am exploring new volunteer activities.
    Thank you for the reminder about nature’s comforting rhythms. — Marilyn

  • Judith Pogue:


    Your thoughtful perspective provides comfort in this alarming time in our lives. Thank you for your wish for hope and joy. May you and Tony find that as well.


  • Kate:

    I wish you hope and joy as well.

  • Hope being the operative word!
    And work–as commentator Thom Hartmann says: Democracy [and Sustainability] are not spectator sports.

  • Harriet Gleeson:

    Maureen, wishing you and Tony a safe and happy holiday. Yes, we must hold our own small candles and hope for a bigger light. Harriet

  • Sarah:

    Thank you Maureen. Such a challenging time. Yet the earth turns, the cycle of renewal is ongoing, and where there is life there is hope. All the best to you and Tony as well. -Sarah

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