Solstice Time

Winter is an intense season for me. Feeling the low temperatures and high winds are not my favorite experiences. My Ayurvedic dosha (body type) is mainly Pitta, which means I am not fond of extreme heat or extreme cold. But there is a special seasonal beauty surrounding the trees’ bare limbs, the white snow, and the blast of cold that hits you in the face.

Above is a photo from the door to our balcony. The early morning light grabbed my attention when I first walked into the living room. The sun seems more intense than in the summer sky.

Also, the bare trees, mentioned above, have a certain appeal to me, like “sentrees” standing guard over the winter landscape.  I took this photo from inside our condo gym with a large picture window. This is about 8 am in the morning, just as the sun hit the treetops:


Here is the same area, closeup. The leafless limbs covered with the latest sprinkling of snow is quite lovely, I think, as the trees stand tall in winter, saving their strength for the coming of spring.

Perhaps the happiest part of the solstice for me is that while December 21st will be the shortest day of the year, we can start to see the days becoming longer again. In addition to the cold weather, especially at night, I dislike the darkness starting before I even think about what to make for dinner!

Of course, the evergreens are still in full garb in the winter, losing some of their needles all year long but never becoming “naked,” so this final photo of the pool area in back of our condo shows that not all the trees are bare. The greens among the bare limbs are a welcome respite from the barren landscape in winter.


Have a Safe & Serene Solstice Celebration!

Pearl Harbor Day, Human Rights Day, and Beyond

The month of December includes Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7th, Human Rights Day on *Dec. 10th, and all the holiday celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Solstice. And now we add the most recent terrorist-related attack in San Bernadino, which took place on my birthday, Dec. 2nd.

*Here is the link to my previous mention of Human Rights Day On December Doings:

In addition, here is another important link to Human Rights Day from the U.N. :
Below is a reprint from the website. (I put two important elements in bold.)

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.

“Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago. For more this year’s theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office.

Because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, which brought the U.S. into WWII, I grew up with Pearl Harbor as my 9/11. In addition, the horrors of the Holocaust are imprinted in my psyche because of the innocent people murdered. In addition to 6 million Jews, there were other non-Aryans who were murdered because they were gay, Gypsies, politically anti-Nazi, etc. I never thought we would experience the fear I felt as a small child when I learned about WWII and the Holocaust, but the events since 9/11 have re-triggered that fear and anxiety.

My wish is that all of us take time today, Pearl Harbor Day, to pay homage to those who died or were wounded that day and also on Human Rights Day to think about how we can bring peace to the planet, so that we do not live in fear where we live, work, pray and play.

Because of this anxiety I feel, I will take a break from creating new postings while I am away for a few days, and will repost some recipes for the holidays from previous years. I need some down time to meditate on what I want to do personally to make a positive difference in the lives I touch by my writing, my everyday activities, and through my spiritual beliefs that uphold each human life as being valuable.

I hope you will take some time to think about all of this and send me your thoughts in the Comments section.  Thank you, ellensue

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