I humbly believe this tribute does not take away from the honoring of our Veterans – My Dad, 2 Uncles and Father-in-Law served in WWII, hubby & 2 cousins during Vietnam and various nephews served during and since the Gulf War. My Sister-in-Law, 5 cousins and a niece are essential health-care providers during this war against COVID-19 – thankfully our family has not suffered any casualties.
Winter Solstice: a day with the least amount of sunshine potential; the shortest day and longest night; a time of reversals.
To me, the Winter Solstice feels more like the ending of the past year with the dawning of the true ‘new year.’ An organic New Year’s Eve, so to speak. What better time to reflect on the past year, letting go and easing into the ‘new year’ as each day from this point in time gains length.
With these reflections comes the announcement that this will be my final posting for 2018 with an undetermined first post date for the upcoming year. That’s just my convoluted way of saying I’m taking a blogging break!
That said, let us continue.
In reviewing my Morning Pages* over this past year I realized it has been a full and satisfying 12 months. No family or close friends died or declared any horrific medical diagnosis, the selling of my folks’ house went smoothly and the settling of their estate is almost completed, we visited and celebrated with family members and friends throughout the year and throughout the country, and the scary emergencies we did encounter were accompanied by His ‘peace that passes all understanding’ as we walked through those life-paths.
It seems we landed in a junction of respite from several years of elder care, personal pain, disappointments, grief and such.
Fielding the good with the bad, several themes** emerged as well – often revealing forward movement on goals, desires, hopes and dreams; working through the ups & downs of life; grappling with deeper issues in living a purposeful life.
Why then this lingering sense of sadness?
Is it the darkness? The longer nights and shorter days? Grey black skies, claustrophobic fog?
I relish this Winter Solstice evening – prolonged darkness, giving permission to hunker down, and delve into soul searching, validating this yearning to be still and listen to what the Lord through His creation and past events is speaking to me.
Then what is contributing to this heaviness, this disheartening sense of impotence in making a difference in life’s inequities?
Ah yes, of course. Events over this past year, worldwide and oh-too-to-close-to-home local happenings.
Never ending hordes of everyday people fleeing their beloved homeland for a safe place to stay alive…Syrians, Central Americans, Africans…
Governments killing their own citizens in the name of advancing their own personal agenda.
Free world border ‘wars’ using displaced, desperate persons, families & children as fodder for unwinnable negotiations.
Increased homelessness in the midst of hardworking middle class professionals – and all the ramifications of undeserved shame while struggling to continue to survive in an ever increasing hostile American society.
Constant bombardment of Trumpian Temper Tantrums affecting everyday Americans (sorry, I don’t normally specify political opinions…please give me latitude during this Winter’s Solstice)
And yet, this is all not new…the poor have always been with us, the rich and powerful have always manipulated laws to benefit themselves, increasing their wealth and opportunities, to the detriment of everyday people, and, what of the ever presence of war – always with us.
1968 was a bad year – Vietnam War, numerous assassinations, student protests…Decades earlier, WWII, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, the Holocaust…
The world’s suffering is so personal.
And yet, I am reminded:
“God wastes nothing – not even our darkness”
*from which I am taking an indeterminate break also, after 28+ years of faithful jottings!
**my music, hubby’s new business, finding home, strengthening relationships…
“A SUITCASE FULL OF CHOCOLATE” is the film about the life of SOFIA COSMA (1914-2011), a devoted mother, a modest woman of great personal character, a great pianist, and the ultimate survivor. Born at the outbreak of World War I, this remarkable musician began a brilliant career as a prize winner in the Viennese International Piano Competition of 1933. Hitler’s invasion of Austria, and Sofia’s subsequent long imprisonment in a Soviet Labor camp, forced her to abandon her music for many years. This is the remarkable story of her ultimate triumph as a mother, a concert artist in the Communist world, then an American citizen with a new life, and a free woman, who returned to Russia to solo with the Moscow Philharmonic. The life of Sofia Cosma is a lesson about Freedom, that precious commodity which most of us take for granted. It is also a lesson about artistry, not fame. Through unbelievable adversity, this musician made music at the highest level, cared for her family, kept her sense of humor, and remained genuinely modest throughout her life.” Lincoln Mayorga
I don’t remember how I came across this intriguingly titled video trailer, but if not for the name, I know I’d have missed it altogether. I’m glad the chocolate drew me in…Once drawn in, I still haven’t a clue as to what the chocolate connection actually is, but, that’s part of the continuity of the draw for when the video becomes more widely available to a larger audience. I suspect it has something to do with Sofia’s eventual escape from the Communist world, but that is of course simply my own speculation.
“In an age when we make heroes out of musicians who struggle with drugs, it is rare to encounter one whose life is profoundly inspiring.” ~ Lincoln Mayorga
I caught this re-broadcast segment on 60 minutes last night after returning from our 4015-plus mile road trip to visit Dad and be with Family. Because Dad fought in WWII, I offer this video in honor of the spirit in which it was fought…because he is my dad, I offer it in honor of what it means to be Family.