December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice

Today I took my ritual sunset hike in the woods behind my home. The chickadees say, "Hi".

Today is the day I have been dreading since June 21st, when I am usually out enjoying the longest day of the year. At that time of year I can leave the house for a hike any time up to 9:00 pm, and still be home before dark.

It is a time of photonic riches, but not for long. I savour them while they last. I am a solar powered group of cells soaking up Sun love.

From that summer day, bit by bit, the sun starts its long march to this day, winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Photons, why have you forsaken us? All light is sacred this time of year - it is fleeting, fleeing. Pray that you will see even a bit of it.

Today I had to make sure to prepare for my ritual hike before 3:00 pm to avoid hiking home in fading light. Even at noon the light is weak and wanes fast. I have to hike at a rigorous pace, both to stay warm, and to beat the shadow rolling across the landscape towards me.

I stop at the brook and am immediately mesmerized by the sound of water gurgling and splashing to the sea, 4 km downstream from here. I have an urge to start a fire and stay all night in the woods. Instead, I say goodbye to the water spirits and start back up the valley.

Along the way I am mobbed by a group of black capped chickadees. One lands on a branch an arms length away from me, right at eye level. "We are the same, you and me", I tell the bird. I can see every feather in its fluffy little body. Its black eye looks back at me.

I am mesmerized again, or should I say enchanted? I can't feel where I end, and the forest, the water, the sky, and the bird begin. We are all part of a single body, the creation of The Great Photonic Being. We exist because it bathes us in its love.

The Sun is life.

"Keep on hiking." It's the responsible hiker voice in my head telling me to move on. I don't want  a peak experience to become a near death experience.

Once home, the dark descends with a thump, and thus begins another long winter night. And if we are lucky, it will be the beginning of a long winter nap as well.

Happy solstice to NBA readers and all of Planet Earth. May your New Solar Year be filled with lots of hearts and photons.

Thank you for being bright candles for Linda and me over the last year. We are fortunate to bathe in your warmth and brightness. It make us feel that Yule be ok, we'll be ok, and the world will be OK.



  1. Anonymous12/22/2017

    Happy solstice Gregg and all the readers at NBA. Loved reading this post and well written to. Sounds like you are merging closer to the flow of things.

  2. Happy Winter solstice to you and Linda, Gregg, and warmest wishes for a wonderful 2018. Thank you for being the hub of this positive community, and for your writings which I always look forward to.


  3. Happy Solstice Gregg and Linda and the entire tribe here at NBA!! Wishing you all wonder filled year of peace!

  4. Anonymous12/22/2017

    Adding my Happy Solstice here too - and thank you for helping me see that winter is restorative, and not just cold and dark. Appreciate the blog posts,the comments, the supportive community. Peace and joy to you all and to our fragile and beautiful planet filled with amazing things like chickadees!-Mary

  5. Happy Winter Solstice from our Summer Solstice! Thank you guys for being one of the few voices of caring and reason on the internet. You and the NBA community are a refreshing break from this mad old world.

  6. Love and peace to all here on NBA. Deeply grateful for all of you.

  7. This reminds me of your encounter with the chick-a-dee.

    1. Terri,

      Thanks for the interesting link. That is it. What a sensation to connect with the larger body, of which we are a part.


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