Solstice 2010

It’s the astrological event of the year: the solstice coming with a full moon and a total lunar eclipse.  I set my alarm and turned to at 3am this morning, but I only got as far as the bathroom skylight, confirming a totally overcast sky – nothing to be seen.  When I came to in early dawn, the world was dusted with snow.

Solstice is my New Year; the Nativity, however hopeful, and the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar do not hold a candle to the power of these long nights and short days, and this one where the sun stands still and begins its six-month ascent. (Though the Bucky Fuller voice inside me reminds you that it’s the 23 degree cant of the Earth that is responsible; the sun is only apparently moving.)

The winter, of course, has just begun – as the days get longer, the cold gets stronger – but the promise of new light is enough to get us through this time when even the spinach in the greenhouse has faded to black.

I am reminded of another lunar eclipse, more than 15 years ago, when I took my new lover Quan down to Cape Elizabeth, and we peered out across the sea to the blood-red moon, and in a sudden urge and a strength of voice I did not recognize, I prayed aloud to Artemis to release her handmaiden so that she could become a mother, a Hera.  It was a worthy gesture, from heart and gut, but it was a prayer not answered: Quan and I never had any children, and she is still the amazonian warrior I continue to love so deeply.

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