Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spreading the Light

I've blogged each year on the winter solstice since I started this blog, five and a half years ago.  This is the shortest day of the year.  From here the nights get shorter and the days grow longer and light returns to the northern hemisphere.

As people who follow my blog know, I also blog at the end of October/start of November (aka Samhain) about the blessings of darkness.  Light also has its blessings.  We need light in order to see, we need light in order to find our way. 

There are treasures in that darkness, but we often need light in order to find them.  At this time of the year, it's the small lights that count: candles and flashlights and moonlight and starlight.  Given how tough it is to find our way at this time in our world, each of us can be a bit of that light, helping others to find their way and helping to find what is hidden in the fertile darkness around us.

I write this, of course, from my own challenge of finding my way and helping others find theirs.  I'm a bit lost at the moment.  I know where I want to go and I'm not sure how to get there.  But this is the season of wandering.  With the light returning, hopefully the way will become clearer.

Quote of the Day:  "There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."  - Edith Wharton

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I grew up a good Catholic boy. This season was called Advent--it was a time of preparation for Christmas.  We lit candles on an Advent wreath every night and marked the time until Christ's birth.

I'm no longer Catholic, or Christian.  I'm a funny mix of Agnostic, Pagan, Buddhist, and Humanist--attracted to Sufi dancing and Quaker meetings and Taoist writings, very influenced by my Jewish friends and my Catholic upbringing.  I am a devotee of love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. And try to be in touch with the Earth and the Seasons.  I tend to follow a Pagan/Catholic calendar.  (Not as strange a mix as it might seem given that a lot of the Catholic feasts are built on Pagan festivities.)  I often find myself naturally in sync with this nature based calendar.

And right now is a period of preparation for me.  Not for Christmas, but for a community that might or might not happen.

I've recently been studying group process, carpentry, weatherizing, greywater systems, plumbing, systems theory, anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, first aid, and general health stuff.  What ties all these things together is I see that they might be useful when trying to put together an intentional community.  I'm thinking a lot about infrastructure.  What systems will we need to have in place to be able to take care of everyone and the community run well?  I've recently gone on a book buying binge, buying books on systems thinking, humanure, greywater, a resilient farm in Vermont, and an innovative ecovillage in Columbia.

The key here is preparation.  I feel helpless at times in the process of actually acquiring a place, but the one thing that I can do is prepare myself.  And this is the season to do it.

Quote of the Day: "The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before... What is possible is to not see it, to miss it... So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.” - Jan Richardson