Winter Solstice, COVID and also the Art of Patience
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🌞 Well hey there! I’m so happy you’re below. This week, we have some ideas on the winter season solstice, plus sensible words from mindfulness professional, Sharon Salzberg, and also some audio health.
THE LENGTHIEST EVENING OF THE YEAR
My papa constantly understood what time the sunlight was mosting likely to establish. Like a great deal of digital photographers, he liked to take pictures because particular hr prior to sundown when the light is soft and also kind yet not as well weak. Even in winter season, we’d rush to the coastline to capture a bit of excellence.
Before electronic cameras obtained expensive, Dad would certainly put on a light meter around his neck and also hold the little white bubble approximately our faces so he might change the aperture as the sunlight escaped. When we were children, I made use of to believe the meter was instilling us with light so we’d be intense sufficient for him to take the picture.
In New York the sunlight evaluates concerning 4:30 pm nowadays, and also I’m desiring there were a tool that might brighten me in this darkest of months, in this darkest of years. For those people that were never ever large followers of December, and also the thousands of countless individuals that’ve lost someone this year, this holiday season is beyond daunting.
But in the tragic poetry of 2020, we find ourselves at both a celestial and medical tipping point. The COVID vaccines have arrived at our darkest hour—literally—and they bring with them a tattered satchel of hope. Tuesday’s winter solstice is both the longest night of the year and the start of our climb back to the light. From December 22 on, instead of losing daylight every day, we in the northern hemisphere will get a few seconds more. It won’t be noticeable at first, but by the end of the month, we’ll have about four more minutes of daylight in New York. By March, we’ll have two more hours.
This doesn’t make the road to March, or to the long, sweet days of June, feel any closer or easier.
When I see the nurses, doctors and elderly people on TV getting their shots, often weeping with relief, I try to imagine a new kind of map—not the blotchy red map of disease we’ve been staring at for months, not our fraught election maps. This one is the color of midnight, and every time someone gets the vaccine, there’s another pinprick of light. (Sentimental, yes, but that image, of a country get brighter, sustains me.)
Our nights will feel endless for a while longer. We’ll still have to fight this virus with the tools we’ve had all along: generosity of spirit and wallet, masks, patience, science—and love. Love for ourselves, and for the children who are watching to see how we treat each other.
And I know there are more devastating COVID numbers headed to our screens before the end of winter, but there’s solace in the fact that the earth—its northern half, at least—is at last tipping ever so slowly toward the sun.
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COPING KIT ⛱️
🎧 Spotify’s Daily Wellness playlist — an uplifting mix of music, meditation, and motivational podcasts.
⛑️ The Care Package for Caregivers — a fortifying collection of podcasts, poetry, and meditations from the On Being Project.
☀️ Eating the Sun: Small Musings on a Vast Universe In honor of the winter solstice and our hunger for a little awe and sunshine, I’m sharing this joyful volume of illustrated essays by Ella Frances Sanders. She turns the laws of physics, biology, and neurology into poetry reminding us that we’re eternal creatures, made of carbon and the remnants of long-gone stars. (And have a look at her recent newsletter about what’s behind our notions of empathy and kindness.)
— Ella Frances Sanders
THE HEALING KIND
Check out this inspiring conversation about the healing power of connection in moments of crisis with world-renowned mindfulness experts Jon Kabat-Zinn and Sharon Salzberg and Shelly Tygielski, founder of Pandemic of Love, a mutual aid community
— Sharon Salzberg
COMFORT DOG 🐕
Our weekly acknowledgment of the creatures that help us make it through the storm. 🤎 Meet ROXY (and her bear) shared by MARI from Lincoln, Nebraska.
💌 Send comfort animal photos, suggestions, or comments to Susanna@time.com
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