Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Solstice Is Sunday

How dark is dark? How quiet?

Wake up early this Sunday morning, let's say about 5 am, and you'll find out. Even with the sky full of bright stars.

In the inner city, of course, your stars are more theoretical than visible, so you'll need to pull your hat over your eyes to get the sky obsidian effect.

The hat helps. Imagine stars your only fire. We know they are out there. The stars, I mean. Even if you're hiding under your covers.

And if you stand out there for a couple of hours (bundle up!), you'll be exactly in time (7:04 am)for the Winter Solstice. With the rising sun comes the literal return of the light after the longest night of the year.

Winter Solstice at sunrise gives us a a chance to welcome back the light literally. So it's a special morning no matter what you're doing -- even sleeping in. Isn't that what Sundays are for??

I'll be out there with you, freezing my toes off but ready to soak in the chi that the Buddhists believe comes down on our pointed little human heads at this magical moment. We can all use the chi . . . what a year we've collectively experienced. Sometimes I wonder if it all really happened?

I guess that depends on what your definition of real is . . . Sometimes, I'm not sure. I know what is is. I learned that about 9 years ago at the same time you did. . . .

Anyway, if you don't plan to get up early on Sunday, remember, intention is worth something too.

Before you go to bed the night before, ask for the blessings of beneficent and wondrous chi. Why not! You deserve it even if all you plan to do is roll over for more time under the covers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dolphins Rule at SeaWorld

I'm sure I was a sea creature in a past life, so when I fed the dolphins at SeaWorld ($7 for 3 little fish, but who's complaining), I was happy to meet some relatives!

Dolphins seem to be well tended there at the park. Time with humans is strictly limited, and interactions are monitored (the humans are the ones misbehaving by grabbing the dolphins' toys).

R's birthday was the official reason for making the trip, but the idea of SeaWorld was perfect for my Neptunian dreamscape with or without a notable event to celebrate.

My sisters and brother and I spent our childhood in the water. My mother and father ran the local swimming program for the various "villages" around Coventry and West Warwick. Places like Clyde, Arctic, Phenix, and Crompton where most kids lived in multi-family houses and didn't get to swim much.

Those kids got to go to Lake Tiogue once a week. We went every day with our dad and his very shiny silver whistle.

Up in New England, the water in the middle of summer hardly ever climbs above 60 degrees, but we didn't know any different. Cold makes you strong. We were 5 minutes from Middle Dam and 20 minutes from Narragansett Bay and Scarborough Beach. My favorite then.

I guess I have a new favorite now . . . SeaWorld!