Posted in Assateague Island, Beginnings, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Friends, Gifts, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Playful, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder

Merry Solstice

Sunrise this morning.
Sunrise this morning.

Solstice Sun, Shining Bright!
Shortest Day; Longest Night.
Solstice Wish of Hope & Cheer:
Peace on the Earth, throughout the Year!

~ Selena Fox

On the beach.
On the beach.

On this first day of winter, we have sunshine with cloudy spells, but no snow or ice here on the Eastern Shore.  Sunrise was a beautiful ripple of color spreading out from behind the trees.  By the time I thought to put on a coat and head outside for a picture, some of the deeper reds and pinks had disappeared.

Beach baby.
Beach baby.

We had a lovely visit with friends this weekend.  They are on their way home now.  Yesterday we took them to Assateague to walk on the beach and visit with the wild horses.  I think this is the first time I’ve actually seen some of the horses on the beach.  Usually they are on the roads, near the campground, or in the parking lots.  There were very few people there, and that may be why.  I suspect quite a few folks feed or try to feed the horses in spite of all the warnings not to, and that brings the horses to the areas where they expect to find people.  Once tourist season is over and there are fewer humans around to break the rules, the horses revert back to their normal horse-beings.

Grazing.
Grazing.

Long-time blogmates might recall that the Winter Solstice is, for me, the start of the new year.  It’s not a matter of following any kind of religious observance, but more of an intuitive thing.  For as long as I can remember I’ve felt that the first day of winter was more of a beginning than the first day of a new calendar year.

Fringe.
Fringe.

I’ve been playing with words, seeking my word or theme for this new year.  At first, the word “healing” came to mind.  That was followed by “well-being.”  But as I flirted and frolicked with words of that nature, one other word kept bouncing around, rollicking and romping in a spirited and delightful way.

On the move.
On the move.

The word has an impish quality to it.  It’s sprightly and puckish, maybe a little daring.  It’s saucy and sassy, merry and frisky.

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.

~ Richard Bach

Child of the island.
Child of the island.

I won’t tease you anymore.  My word for the year is:  Playful.  Whimsy or whimsical was a close second so expect some of that as well, along with curiosity, surprise, and wonder.

Exploring.
Exploring.

It was a comment from a friend that clinched the word for me.  Back in October, this friend, a very good friend who was at one time (long ago) my boss, posted a comment on one of my Facebook updates.  After complimenting my photos, she asked:

What happened to that goofball that used to leave footprints in my office so that I knew my way to my desk, etc.?

I answered that the goofball is still here, but I got to thinking that my inner goofball doesn’t come out to play anymore as often as she should.  A big thank you to my friend and former boss for asking that all important question.  I’m not sure if you’re reading, but if you are, you know who you are, and I really do appreciate the reminder.

I also had some guidance from a meditation in which I was directed to visualize what my best day in 2015 will look like.  In my imagination and visualization, that best day, from start to finish, was full of fun, laughter, and play.  If you’re interested, the guidance came from Susannah Conway’s Find Your Word for 2015!  It’s a free ecourse with only five emails over the course of five days.  I’ve done this on my own for years, and thought it would be interesting — and maybe even fun and playful — to see how others do it.  I’m glad I signed up.  I will carry that visualization with me throughout the year.  Even if the details of it don’t manifest, I know the spirit of it already has inserted itself into my heart.  Or, more likely, it was there all along and I just had to access it.

On the water.
Calm.

Normally only one-tenth of our mind is conscious, and nine-tenths is unconscious.  Just a small part of our mind, a thin layer, has light; otherwise the whole house is in darkness.  And the challenge is to grow that small light so much that the whole house is flooded with light, so that not even a nook or corner is left in darkness.

When the whole house is full of light, then life is a miracle; it has the quality of magic.  Then it is no longer ordinary — everything becomes extraordinary.  The mundane is transformed into the sacred, and the small things of life start having such tremendous significance that one could not have ever imagined it.

~ Osho, Illumination, from Everyday Osho: 365 Meditations for the Here and Now

Defying gravity.
Defying gravity.

It’s time for me to go play.  Thank you for visiting, and walking around Assateague Island with me.  I think we’re going to have a beautiful sunset tonight.  Let’s meet at the Point.  Sunset is at 4:46 PM.  It’s slightly chilly — it is the first day of winter, after all — but there’s little to no wind so it shouldn’t be too bad.  Come early and we’ll take a walk along the beach before the show begins.  Or we can just goof around.

Winter Solstice bonfire.  Taken earlier today.
Winter Solstice bonfire. Taken earlier today.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today’s joys:  Breakfast and an early morning walk with good friends; light and laughter; goofing around; a gorgeous sunrise; warming up near the bonfire.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

28 thoughts on “Merry Solstice

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Hopefully I haven’t grown so serious and stodgy that my ‘playful’ side is rusty and in need of a good oiling before it comes out.

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  1. What a beautiful post to guide across the threshold into the new year and the rebirth if the sun 🙂 Stunning images as always……and I will be on the lookout for that goofball you mention over the next 12 months!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this entire piece, Robin. Thanks for sharing. I need to go to Assateague myself. It really isn’t too far from where I live (Richmond, Va. area). I vaguely remember my parents taking me to see the running of the ponies when I was a small child, but haven’t been back since.

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    1. Thank you, Marcy. 🙂 They do the pony round-up in Chincoteague (Virginia) in July. I haven’t seen the actual round-up or the swimming part yet, but have gone down to see the ponies after they’ve penned them. It’s a great time to get a good look at the foals.

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  3. Assigning a word to the next year is a challenge. It’s both a prediction and something to live up to, like resolution. I think if I had to pick a word for myself it would be ‘observant’ . Jane

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    1. ‘Observant’ is an excellent word, Jane. 🙂 I agree that it can be challenging. The nice thing is that there are no rules involved. If the word isn’t working out, I can change to another. Sometimes having a word or theme helps me more than a resolution. Resolutions can be easy to break. A word (so far) has always worked out to be something to learn from and about.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE your new word… how can there be joy without play? Something we should hang onto even as we age. Personally, I think playfulness and laughter help to keep us young. I also couldn’t agree more about the new year starting with the solstice. A very happy Solstice to you and may the new one be filled with play!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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