Long is our winter,
Dark is our night,
Expectant are our hearts,
Come, O Radiant, healing, Loving Light!
Adapted from a 15th Century German Hymn
This is a busy time of year, and I know I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. Some people seem to organize their time so they aren’t rushing around or over booking themselves. Perhaps, people fall into two categories: those that know their capacity and manage their time, and those that seem to lack a stoppage value, always trying to fit as much as possible in a 24 hour period. I believe as we age we are learning how to manage our time in a mindful manner.
I have always found the Advent time (4 weeks before Christmas) to be a way for me to slow down and pay attention to this time of year. I have to add a caveat because I start out with this intention but after a few weeks or so, I am back to my busy life.
For the past several years I have enrolled in an e-course (Lux Divina: An Advent Journey) provided by Spirituality and Practice.com, giving me some focus. One of the activities this year is from an ancient practice called “Musica Divina”, whereby you listen to a piece of music with the intent of hearing with the “ear of the open heart”. Quietly you listen to Tchaikovsky’s “Hymn of Cherubim”, enjoying the sounds and vision coming forth, inviting you to create your own images. This can be found on YouTube (https://youtu.be/vyFkPd6fEuI).
The next activity is a photo from the Hubble Space Telescope, showing outer space in a photo named “Snow Angel”. Again taking time to sit and view the image with an open heart, seeing and hearing what is there for you. The website Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar/the Atlantic has a photo for each day of December. Also, this can be ordered.
Both of these activities has settled me and brought me closer to my inner being. I am sure each of you has ways that lead you into your quiet space and give you peace and renewal.
The Mother Board calls upon the Radiant, Healing, and Loving Light to descend upon each of you in this beautiful season of darkness and emerging light to create your hearts’ desire.
From the Farmer’s Almanac
In 2017, winter begins with the solstice on Thursday, December 21. This is the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy our winter solstice facts, folklore, and more!
The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it always occurs around December 21 or 22. (In the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs around June 20 or 21.) Read more from the Farmers Almanac.
Honor/Remember Someone you care about and support Crones Counsel at the same time.
This year start a tradition by surprising one of your friends from Crones with a donation in her name to an organization that truly matters to her and you, Crones Counsel, Inc.
Instead of giving more “stuff” to remember a birthday, to acknowledge an achievement, or to say thank you for being a part of your life, give a gift that says you are special and sustains the mission of Crones Counsel. Gifts can also be made in memory of a sister Crone.
Your name and the name of the person you are honoring will be printed in the next issue of Crones Times. Send your “gift” to:
Crones Counsel, Inc.
c/o Kay Marie Bouma
5452 E Hillery Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
As a 50l (c) 3 organization your donation qualifies as a charitable donation.
If you are interested in remembering Crones Counsel as part of your estate plan, please contact our current treasurer – Kay Marie Bouma, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-377-5632
How do you survive winter? Maybe you escape it altogether or live in a place where the days are always sunny and it rarely snows. This is not the case in north-central Ohio where we have “Weather” in the form of ice, snow, sunshine, sub-zero temps one day and a balmy 40 the next and lots and lots of gray .. did I mention the gray? Even a foot of snow comes as a welcome relief from all the gray. If we have snow followed by sunshine, who care’s if it’s 20 degrees F? I remember what Ranulph Fiennes said — “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” I put on lots of layers, my heavy duty boots and head outside, soaking up all the Vitamin D I can get.
When we’re not outside doing farm chores regardless of the weather, we load up our Kindles with lots of books, make soup, think about cleaning the basement, laugh at the stir-crazy cats, try to explain to the dogs why we’re not going for a walk this morning and watch BASKETBALL! Yes, I confess — the Kentucky Wildcats are my guilty pleasure. It’s in the DNA.
One of my earliest childhood memories is sitting with my brother in front of the large console radio listening to basketball games. We cheered on our favorite players and yearned for another Kentucky NCAA championship. If you claim to be a native Kentuckian, there are two requirements – you cheer on the Wildcats and you drink bourbon. Now, all these years later, I still cheer them on and am a bleed-blue rabid Kentucky Wildcat fan. The rare times they play the West Virginia Mountaineers, Mike and I go to our separate corners — the reason we have two televisions — and I promise not to gloat when the Wildcats win (ok, technically, they don’t ALWAYS win, but they usually do.)
I know, sometimes, that my behavior when watching a close game is not exactly sane. However, it is very cathartic! I yell at the refs, at the other team, at any slight disparagement by the commentators (to the point of muting them when they are obviously biased!) and dance around the room when an incredible 3 pointer is made. The cats abandon me from the get-go and the dogs sometimes escape to another room. At the end of those games, I am spent; if it was a win, I’m euphoric; if a loss .. well, let’s not even put that out there.
This seems to get me through the dark days of December – March and then, after March Madness, I move on to less frenzied engagements. But, ahhh basketball. I love the athleticism, the grace, the teamwork, the hope and promise of those young men (boys) and I love the current coach, John Calipari, for loving his team.
Everyone has them — guilty pleasures. What’s yours? Go Wildcats!