Solstice


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Snow on the Roof  Dec 06

Dec. 20, ‘13

The sun has been out for the past 2 1/2 days and the temperature is a lot less harsh since the snowstorm we had last Tuesday.  I’m feeling a sense of lightness from being able to move about freely – in my house and around town. 

After the past few weeks of bitter cold temperatures and the physical ailment Cold, it feels good to feel good and I’m grateful. 

And there’s Joy in my heart because it’s Solstice-time.  To me, Solstice is a milestone and I’m happy –ecstatic even! — for all of us to have arrived at this spot along the road of life where I/we can see light at the end of the tunnel – even though it’s months away and the journey through will see more snow and more cold.  I love the spirit of Christmas and try to keep it in my heart all year but I’m much more excited by Solstice and then, my 2nd favorite celebration, Ground Hog Day. 

To celebrate my sense of deliverance from cold and sad-thinking and to refresh my mind and attitude, I decided to attend a meeting at the Senior Center.  When I came close to the room where the meeting was held, I noticed a woman nearby and I asked her if I had the right room.  No sooner had I begun to open my mouth we instantly recognized each other and began to laugh!  Big, hearty, excited, genuine and happy laughter without much restraint or consideration for others, initially.   The woman was a dear friend who has been a dear friend since Junior High.  We don’t see each other often but when we do, it’s as if it was moments ago.   And we talk fast and laugh a lot, just as we did when we ran in to each other in the halls of Jr High.

We decided not to send each other Christmas cards as the serendipitous visit and the hugs were a far better gift than a card.

I spent so much time  in the hall with my friend that I was very late for the meeting; it was just breaking up.  But there was coffee and people who got a kick out of my story of meeting my friend and ‘tis the season so we sat still, ate cookies, drank coffee and laughed and talked for a half hour or so until we were asked to leave by the next person who needed to use the room for yet another party.

Just that interchange at the Sr Center was  a huge lift in how I was feeling about the cold & dark and The Cold  but on the way home I stopped at a nearby grocery store and The Universe put a cherry on top. 

As I made my way from my parking spot and up an incline to a wide space in front of the store a quite elderly woman offered me her cart.  The carts at this store are unlocked by inserting a quarter.  I fumbled for a quarter to give her in exchange but she waved me off and pointed at the incline and the amount of slush she’d have to push it through and said I’d be doing her a favor.  So, I took her cart and entered the store.  After I’d shopped a bit, a young man tapped me on the shoulder and said I’d accidentally taken a walking cane along with the cart, and so I had.  The young man took the cane and then ran back to the parking lot where I saw him give it to the woman.  The woman waved at him and he waved back at me and then to her and ran off to his car.  The woman waved at me and then we all went our separate ways.  While shopping in the store, I encountered all kinds of random acts of kindness; a conversation with a woman who shopped at that store and helped me understand where things were.  We shopped together for about 10 minutes and I enjoyed the conversation enormously.  Another young man saw me lifting a 25 pound bag of salt into my cart and instantly gave me an assist.  People smiling at each other….   Kindness seemed to be in the air….  When I dropped off my cart, I left it loose from all the others in case someone else came along who didn’t have a quarter.

I’m shopping there more often!

And one more thing. 

When I got home, I encountered the guy next door and this time, he didn’t have a chance to bolt or avoid me, which seems to be the norm.  We had a conversation about the weather and not liking snow the older we get and being too creaky and rickety to enjoy shoveling etc etc etc.  I got a chance to tell him how much I appreciated his shoveling my front walk as much as he did which took a lot less off me.    He told me that he’d made a path for  my garbage bins from the back of the house to the driveway.  I thanked him again.  It came from the bottom of my heart.  I now know that he can smile.  We wished each other Merry Holidays and that was that.

The warmth of the Season is my wish for all, throughout the season and throughout the new year

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2 Responses to Solstice

  1. beetleypete says:

    What a heartening post Gretchen. To have such a nice day, meet old friends, find company in strangers, and establish a rapport with a neighbour too. Perhaps the warmth of humanity has pervaded the cold and snow of New England, and given everyone cause to be nice once again. We can only hope that it spreads around, so we all get some.
    Thanks for a nice post, and for the blues in your painting.
    Regards to you, as always, Pete.

  2. Kathy says:

    Gretchen, I felt joy bubbling out of your solstice post. How lovely to have met your friend from junior high and beyond! Wishing you the happiest of holidays. I, too, love Solstice.

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