Monday, December 16, 2013

Saturday, December 21,

I will be meeting a friend that morning.  She and I meet every month to take a long walk.  And talk.  The sun will have risen at 7:55.  At 9:11 here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun and earth will mark the winter solstice and daylight hours will begin to increase.  The tilt of the earth on its axis will again draw the Northern Hemisphere into alignment to receive more direct rays from the sun.  Above the Arctic Circle where my professional work took me, the sun would again appear above the horizon after the winter solstice.  (The 24 hour night in the Arctic is not the black of midnight.  The sun remains below below the horizon but the rays create a dawn and dusk that lighten the sky.)  My friend and I will talk about our families and ourselves.  The inconvenience of the short November and December days does not keep us from the busyness of retirement.  We are carefree in comparison to the millennia of ancestors for whom hope for survival was renewed with the sun's return.  If we are not alone in the Universe - if there is another planet of just the right mass, orbit and distance from its sun - if there is intelligent life - do they understand yet the cause of the daylight cycle? Are they building a Stonehenge?  Or is their science and technology taking them into exploration of their universe?  I will tell my friend, as I do every year, that I am a cave woman at heart. My spirits lift and I feel a surge of renewal - this year at 9:11 AM on December 21.

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