The Winter Solstice Is Upon Us *Open Thread*


Since I am on vacation, I am reprising this post from 2012. Happy Solstice!

As day turns to night, as the earth turns on her axis, the time has come for the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The day we light the Yule Log, breath in the smell of evergreens, and relish the red of the holly berry, reminders that though the light is gone for the moment, it will return, bringing life and renewal with it. In that still darkness, even then, is the promise of light, and life, returning.

And on this shortest day, when the light leaves, there is mystery, and depth. This is one of my favorite pieces by Clannad, as it touches upon those deep places with its rich tones and rhythms:

Just beautiful. Just magical…

The Solstice is a magical time, to be sure, by also a fascinating celestial event. I came across this interesting video that illustrates the planet’s path through the heavens on this Solstice, a trip this old Earth has made for millennia:

And for ages, people have celebrated this day, from Stonehenge to Newgrange to parts far afield across this planet, in ways unique, and ways the same. There is just something magical about this time of year, something holy. It is a time for introspection, a time to discern one’s own path through the heavens, a time to share love, laughter, song, and the warmth of the Yule Log. It is also a time to reach out to those less fortunate, to those who are alone or lonely, inviting them in to share a cup of cheer.

Yes, now is the time to celebrate Winter in all her glory:

At this time of year, whether you celebrate Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, all of the above or none of the above, I hope you are able to take a step back, take a moment to be still, to relish this time of year, the gatherings of loved ones, the joy of the season, and the promise of the year to come.

Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again!


84 Responses to “The Winter Solstice Is Upon Us *Open Thread*”

  1. HELENK Says:

    hey WE ARE STILL HERE Hooray Hooray

  2. HELENK Says:

  3. HELENK Says:

    US Marine coming home

    good——he is coming home

    bad—–it took public outrage and economic threats to get him freed,no help from state dept

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Yes, on both counts, Helen. So glad he will be home for Christmas, but it speaks VOLUMES abt the State Dept that they did not step in at all…

  4. HELENK Says:

    little bit upsetting in Annapolis last night

  5. HELENK Says:

    NASA film on why the world did not end

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Cool, thanks.I had heard they made a film explaining why, and were so confident, they released it early!!

  6. HELENK Says:

    where’s the kaboom

  7. HELENK Says:

    real heroes

    this did bring tears to my eyes

  8. HELENK Says:

    one person trying to make a difference

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      What a lovely story, and what a very kind man. Good for him. We could use more just like him…

  9. HELENK Says:

    this could get ugly. looming port strike on Dec 29

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      UGH. What do they hope to gain by this? It’s like blackmail, and it sure doesn’t help to win the hearts and minds…

  10. HELENK Says:

    this sets my Irish temper off

    she was too lazy to go to the memorial for the kids and adults that were killed at sandy hook and she is going to advise parents how to talk to their kids about it.
    I don’t think so

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, good grief. I’m sorry, but what makes HER an expert in this area? She went to law school and never worked as a lawyer – she isn’t a psychologist, or even a social worker.

      Isn’t it time for them to be on their 17 day (at our expense, what is it, $4MILLION) vacation already???

  11. HELENK Says:

    stupid court ruling of the day.

    what ever happened to self control and being responsible for your own actions

  12. Katherine B. Says:

    Happy Winter Solstice to you, Amy, and everyone who come to read and post here.

  13. HELENK Says:

    I know you will be thrilled and overwhelmed to know that the obama family started their $4 million vacation today

  14. HELENK Says:

    THE MARINE IN BACK IN THE USA released from the mexican jail

    has to be the best Christmas ever for his family

  15. HELENK Says:

    she who wants me to pay for her birth control so she does not have any kids, wants to lecture parents on how to raise boys

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You have GOT to be kidding me! Again, she went to LAW school, she is not a psychologist/psychiatrist, or a social worker. This is a CLASSIC logical fallacy of someone assuming a mantle of expertise and being TREATED as an expert when it is not their field.

      Hell, all she did was testify in front of Congress abt how the terrible school she CHOOSE to attend because of its stance on birth control was meant to her. That anyone gives a DAMN what she has to say is just laughable.

  16. kenoshamarge Says:

    Two years later and the crazy left is still as crazy, and in some cases as evil as they were in 2012.

    Andrew Klavan writes about very eloquently IMO.

    Narrative Kills

    The hearts of honest men and women are filled with anger today at the murder of two New York City police officers. The killerโ€™s dead; his justice will be perfect. But weโ€™re angry at the people who spread the lies that set the killerโ€™s heart on fire.

    Al Sharpton, who can add yet another death-by-rhetoric to his resume; Mayor de Blasio, who abandoned the peace keepers of his own city; Barack Obama and Eric Holder and the editors of the New York Times and the Daily News, who all helped spread the narrative that the police target or oppress people of color.

    That narrative is false; itโ€™s a lie; it killed those officers. Our anger against the people who spread that murderous lie is justified; righteous.

    The policing programs and policies that these people seek to undermine save black lives. The policies these people seek to put in place cost black lives. Those are facts, not narrative.

    Do any of them spend even a cartridge of ink speaking out against the teacherโ€™s unions that enslave black children to ignorance for their own gain?

    Do any of them waste a word speaking out against the sexual practices that lead to rampant illegitimacy in poor black neighborhoods and enslave their generations to poverty?

    Do any of them ever stand up for the huge majority of decent, law-abiding African Americans whom the police protect lest they be enslaved by the thugs and criminals in their midst?

    Dependency. Helplessness. Victimhood. Division. Thatโ€™s all these people sell. Every damn day. What did they think would happen?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      What a great piece by Klavin, and he is so, so,right. I am just horrified at the hatred and vitriol that is being ramped up by these “tolerant” Left leaders. Just appalled, absolutely appalled.

      And the responses by some people have been beyond disturbing…

      I usually copy the post and then out it up. This time, I just changed the publish date and that left the comments. I could change it now, but hey, it is kinda fun to see what was going on two years ago!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        As you know I usually just post a title and link to articles I find worth sharing. This time I felt the whole post was so powerful I wanted to post it in it’s entirely. I hope that’s okay.

        I hope you are enjoying your sunshine. Mind sending a little our way? Piper and I are both suffering from the gray sky gloomies. Or at least I am. Making me a bit of a grouch to tell the truth.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          I very much appreciate you posting the entire piece. It was spot on. Thank you!

          Lol, sure! I would be happy to send you some of this nice warm breeze to blow away the clouds! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • piper Says:

          Marge, I’m with you there. Yesterday there was foolish talk about the sun but I somehow didn’t managed to find some on my walk.
          The reason I resisted the temptation to sunbath in the parking lot Friday had to do with the cold temp. and not wanting to be arrested for indecent exposure since I live in small subdivision with many cops. Besides my cleaners shrunk my bikini – really not extra poundage.

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            You must use the same cleaners I do. When I got out my Christmas Sweaters this year several were very tight. Either they shrunk or, no that can’t be…

    • foxyladi14 Says:

      Some fools never learn Marge. ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. kenoshamarge Says:

  18. kenoshamarge Says:

    Thought you ladies might find this interesting and funny.

    Top 10 feminist fiascoes of 2014

  19. kenoshamarge Says:

    Everything you need to know about scumbag Al Sharpton:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Amen to that. Can you believe he is now trying to act like HE is the victim? Or I should say, is trying again to,depict himself as the victim. Such a piece of work.

      Btw, my Yankees are giving money to the families of those two executed officers, and helping the kids with their education. A friend had on Facebook that liberals are crying out because they didn’t help the families of the thugs who lost their lives breaking the law. As my friend noted, the Yankees have been helping out the NYPD for decades. But still, their right to help whom they wish, especially when they fight to protect the law, not break it.

    • foxyladi14 Says:

      Al and his coharts have blood on their hands now!!! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  20. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    The Daily Caller has an article this morning abt the IRS report, and the targeting of “icky” groups by the IRS. As If we didn’t already know they did it, the report highlights that they did precisely that. Abt damn time for some accountability already…

  21. kenoshamarge Says:

    Here’s another funny cartoon – IMO

  22. kenoshamarge Says:

    With the death of two fine police officers in NYC we see the faces behind the problem that caused their death. Obama, Holder and De Blasio didn’t cause the death of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, they just created the atmosphere that caused it too happen. These men could have chosen to be real leaders, what they chose was to be demagogic race-baiters and sadly mediocre politicians playing to the lowest common denominator. For that they deserve our scorn. For that De Blasio deserved to be shunned.

    As for the media’s role in all this – they too, for the most part, deserve to be shunned. At least those who ramped up the rhetoric and played their usual liberal bias game. Sad commentary on what out media has devolved into.

    Playing politics is a rough game and many have been harmed by those who care about nothing but winning elections. Reputations shredded, lives changed forever and lies that become a perception of truth because of a media that cares more for an agenda and/or a political party than the truth. Those things are repugnant enough in a civil society – when lives are lost that is way beyond a permissible “political” meme.

    Sharpton isn’t even worth talking about. The fact that the President of the United States invites this scum into the Nation’s House is. Sharpton is scum and we all know that. What does that make Obama? Who by the way hasn’t popped his head up to say anything about the deaths of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos – too busy playing golf I guess. He sure managed to run his big mouth about Trayvon, Michael Brown and Eric Garner guess he just didn’t have any empathy left for police officers.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Of course, the shooter is ultimately responsible for his acts, but there are reasons why laws against inciting to riot and commit violence exist. People can be persuaded, unfortunately. Having this ratcheted up animosity toward police courtesy of the people you mentioned sure didn’t help any. They do bear some accountability in general for fomenting this atmosphere of violence and hate toward the police, especially people like Sharpton.

      The Daily Caller had an article abt the NYTimes holding those folks you mentioned completely blameless though they had blamed Palin for the Giffords shooting since she had that bulls eye thing. They failed again, to do any research – the DCCC under Rep. Chris Van Hollen had already used it to target political seats, which is what Palin did, but whatever. And Palin sure wasn’t ever advocating anything like what these “leaders” have advocated. Not even in the same galaxy. That attack by the media was a red herring, and intended to smear HER.

      The hypocrisy is just staggering, to go to your point abt the media.

      We have failed leadership in a big way. So disturbing…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Tis the season for giving.

        Retailer JC Penny has an ad campaign this season called #JustGotJingled. To kick off the event, they asked shoppers whether it was better to give or receive. Not only are the responses heart warming, theyโ€™re a great reminder of what this season is all about.

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          This wasn’t supposed to be a “reply” it was supposed to stand on its own. Oh well, it’s what happen when I try to do something before having had enough coffee to get those old synapses snapping.

  23. kenoshamarge Says:

    Nice time for some beautiful Christmas music. Every year I love to listen to all my favorite Christmas music by my favorite people. Carole of the Bells by Celtic Woman is favored only by Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

    There are more – way too many more to mention but it was only last year that I discovered Josh Groban and loved the sound of his voice. I think he does this one of my favorites very, very well. If you’ve never heard him sing this – enjoy. If you’ve heard it before – enjoy it again. As I do.

    Oh Holy Night โ€“ Josh Groban

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much for this. Groban has such a beautiful voice, doesn’t he?

      We just finished watching the Celtic Woman Christmas DVD. What amazing voices, and what a great way to begin Christmas Eve.

      We also watched a few Pentatonix videos, especially their version of, “Mary Did You Know,” the most beautiful version I have heard.

      Thank you for the videos – keep ‘me coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        The Groban video I found just looking for the song. But the one from JC Penny was found, as so many things I find are, while looking for something else. I start out looking for something and an hour later find myself still looking but having forgotten what I was originally looking for. Sometimes “senior” moment can be fun, exciting and lead to adventures into the unknown. Other times they lead to burned rice.

  24. kenoshamarge Says:

    If you like music playing in the background while reading or doing other things, as I do, but don’t want to get distracted by lyrics you might like this YouTube. I put it on and listen for two hours.

    If you go to full screen for the image you can have burning logs and snow without ever having to shovel a flake or clean up any ashes. Best of both worlds.

    Burning logs – falling snow and music

  25. foxyladi14 Says:

    Wishing a very happy and Merry Christmas to all that visit here . ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. kenoshamarge Says:

    Wishing you the same Foxy! I’ll let Frank Sinatra sing it for me:

  27. HELENK3 Says:

    WOW now there are two HelenK’s here that is great


  28. HELENK3 Says:

    OK I just looked at the date of the posts from HELENK. guess that is me

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Lol, yes that is you. I should have put this in a whole new post, and just changed the date. Sorry for the confusion!

  29. foxyladi14 Says:

  30. kenoshamarge Says:

    Merry Christmas everyone! I’m wishing you the best day you could have.

    And as Popsmoke over at NQ reminded me, spare a thought and a prayer for those who cannot be home with their families. They serve to protect us so that we can.

    That certainly includes the police who still patrol our streets and roads this day. Bless them and keep them safe so that they may return home to those they love and who love them.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Absolutely, Marge. At this time of year, the sacrifices they make for us are in even brighter relief… (There will be a Christmas post coming up later this morning.)

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