Friday, December 12, 2014

Old Father Time Lives On

Winter Solstice is only 9 days away. I realized I'd better wish you all "Io Saturnalia!" That's Latin for Merry Christmas, except that it was pre-Christ's birth, so Christmas didn't really exist yet.

 Saturn was the "grandfather" of the Gods, having been the father of Jupiter (Zeus in Greek) who was, in turn, father of most of the rest of the gods in mythology. I find it interesting that old Saturn still shows up this time of year, as Father Time, portraying the Old Year who is going out when we welcome in the Baby New Year. So perhaps I'd better amend my post to say Io Saturnalia and Happy New Year! The count off to that is 16 days!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Looking Forward

Only 12 more days until the days start getting longer again! Right now we're losing about a minute of daylight each day. 

On the even better side, I have been having fewer migraines since mid-November. Come to think of it, that's about when I started this countdown to the Solstice. Must be some kind of benefit in having something to look forward to.

I find it strange that some of the benefits of the holiday season and also the detriments.  We enjoy the hustle and bustle and the idea of getting ready for something special.  But at the same time, those things can get us stressed out, too.  I don't have any sage answers about this, though.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter's Clouds and Chill

The following verse from one of the many hymns written my John Newton, seems to strike a 'chord' (sorry for the music joke) in me.  Newton is best known for his hymn 'Amazing Grace', and for the story of his conversion from slave-trader ship captain to preacher of the Word.

There are times when the winter of our souls is a reflection of the cold weather we see in northern climes this time of year.  Well, to be more truthful, the chill in our soul can be much worse that any blizzard that is howling  outside our windows.  But Newton has an answer for that, too. As St. Paul put it, It's between staying and keeping our friends happy, or going to be with the Lord, which is far better.  Yet, Paul did stay, until the Lord called him home--in his good time.  And I know the same was true for Newton.

Dear Lord, if indeed I am thine, if thou art my sun and my song,
          Say, why do I languish and pine, and why are my winters so long?
          Oh, drive these dark clouds from my sky,
          Thy soul-cheering presence restore:
          Or take me unto thee on high,
          Where winters and clouds are no more.

                                      John Newton, 1725-1807