Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice Day

We’re in Plettenberg Bay on the southern coast of South Africa – we motored down from Johannesburg last week at midnight with Angie the cat in tow. Both sons are here, Davey & his wife Jüte arrived from Cape Town this past Monday night. Angie has settled in very well indeed – maybe not surprising since she comes from Plett and lived for a while in this house quite a long time ago. He was my son Mike’s rescue cat –

I went for a walk on my own on the Robberg beach midday yesterday – such a gorgeous day, bright, sunny, not too hot …

That is not a shark fin! (If it was I would have left the country). It is a boat the body of which is obscured by the uprising wave … the Tsitsikama mountains in the background … the tide was out …

The results of the recent 5 day elective conference of the ANC (African National Congress) for their chosen president to lead the ANC has yielded the ANC president we hoped for i.e. Cyril Ramaphosa. Jacob Zuma has had his two 5 year terms and they were pretty disastrous for our country. Zuma remains president of South Africa until elections in 2019. Ramaphosa’s deputy and a few of his newly elected inner circle (not chosen by him, but by votes from the NEC – National Executive Council – of which there are about 4750) leaves much to be desired and have allegations of corruption and much else against them. Gangsters. Nevertheless, some new brooms – At least Zuma is no longer the ANC president – though he remains president of South Africa until the 2019 elections.  Although he may now face the many charges brought against him and have his day in court even while president of SA. (He always said he wanted to but so far has cleverly and manipulatively managed to avoid this). He faces impeachment charges inter alia. There is bound to be investor confidence. Ramaphosa is a savvy business man. It is hoped that he will investigate state capture which has been endemic. The Council of Churches spoke to CR in June this year – an unprecedented step for the Church to take – and urged him then to stop the rot as swiftly as possible. I hope and think CR has taken this to heart. The rand strengthened against all currencies as from Monday, though today it is yo-yo-ing. 

We are all hopeful that a new direction for our beloved country in which the fat cats no longer feed at the trough is underway and that all that is broken and ineffectual is not beyond repair. 

 CR gave his maiden speech in the early hours this morning as president of the ANC of which I watched a bit during today. He’s saying all the right things so far. Though I don’t think all is hunky-dory by any stretch of the imagination. There are too many gangsters in the inner circle. We’re still pretty vulnerable –

But enough of that …I feel for all of us in these extraordinary times of political upheaval; it feels to me as if the boil is being lanced little by little and when the pus is slowly, slowly all removed, then may the healing begin.

Solstice (from the Latin, sol:sun; sistere:to stand still), a twice a year happening when the earth stands still for a nano-second and then begins its tilt in the opposite direction towards a new season. In the northern hemisphere where the night is the longest, there is a promise of warmth to come after the bitterness of cold. In the southern hemisphere and the longest day, we’re aware that the days will shorten and the nights imperceptibly longer. A day worthy of reverence from ancient times …

 How this year has flown, one season blending into another, timelessly, sometimes forcefully, reflecting perhaps inner seasonal changes. So much has happened world wide. The new year always brings with it hope that things will be better on many levels. Change is always occurring, on all levels –

Thanks to son Mike for the greeting card!

Thank you for your participation in my blog over this year. I so appreciate it! I’ve enjoyed the meaningful connection and feel I’ve learned much as well as from your posts, many times a softening of my heart. What more could a gal want? Wishing you all peace and joy, good health and strength, happy family and relaxing times. And may our prayers for all that we ask, become a reality. May the Force be with you.

Camus: In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.




48 Comments on Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice Day

  1. And now at Imbolc, I realize I missed this one in the craziness of my life as a caregiver. Such an exquisite new moon photo-and I thought for sure that was a whale. I hope South Africa has a better government in the future with more trusted leaders. Of course, I hope the same for my insanely messed up country. It’s hard to know how we’re going to get out of this mess.

    • Your care-giving story is remarkable Elaine. Like the US we have our State of the Union Address this coming Thursday. We do NOT want our current pres to make this – if he does not resign pretty soon he may face impeachment. We are on tenterhooks … perhaps patience is the name of the game. Thank you for coming by 🙂

  2. Wishing you and your family the very best of the festive season, Susan.
    Those are some gorgeous clicks!!

  3. Glad your S.A. governmental conditions are improving, at least somewhat, Susan. In our country the majority don’t call the inner circle/top one percent gangster; more often we euphemize that label, at least in the media, but, you know…. I trust you and your beautiful family will enjoy a wonderful, happy Christmas there in Plett — seems the perfect place to be at this holiday season. Your and Susan’s book, “Aging & Becoming,” was just delivered to my home — a Christmas gift to myself. Now I am looking forward to reading it. Love and light…. –Carol/Samantha

    • Lovely to see you here Carol thanks for coming by. We’ve woken up to a very rainy Christmas morning. I’m looking forward to the church service – a reminder of much. A very merry Christmas to you Carol and may 2018 be an excellent one! I’ve so appreciated our friendship over the years –

    • Thanks Robbie for coming by. I’m not madly optimistic 😀 If I had young children I’d probably also be thinking seriously of emigrating. Let’s hope that things improve and that we don’t lose you.

  4. Love your final quote, as I sit here snuggled under blankets in the Northern hemisphere, on a very cold morning. I wish you peace for your country, and mine, and for the world. For people to respect each other, to lose the need for power and control. I wish you health and success in the New Year, and many happy times with your family and friends.

    • Thanks Mary for coming by. I’m glad you noted the Albert Camus quote. The strangest thing happened – I bought a book this pm – Isabel Allende’s ‘In the Midst of Winter’ – her very latest. I opened it at the same time I logged onto my computer, read your comment, and blow me down this is the very quotation in the beginning of the book –
      I had to let you know! I hadn’t really noted the title when I bought the book. Was just so pleased to see a book of hers I hadn’t read.

      We can only hope and pray that all that you say in your lovely comment will come to pass.

      All good wishes to you and family. Health and success to you too 😀

  5. Hi Susan, Thank you for your lovely warm greetings from your holiday with family. I love the card from you all. Wishing you all that you wish for – peace is a great place to start – Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! See you in 2018!

  6. Happy Solstice (that top photo is amazing!), and Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you enjoyed your long day filled with warmth in the air and family love.
    I hope the new government is a change for the better.
    Your son’s card is a delight. I like how you (I assume) are holding your book in it. 🙂

    • Thanks Merril so much! Nothing like family to melt the heart – and good food. I wonder if I’ll try to make latkes for Christmas lunch? I may even surprise my daughter-in-law 😀

      Yes that’s the two susans book! The other is mine.

      All good and warm festive greetings to you and family.

  7. Glad to read your post susan, and wishing you and your family a happy christmas,and a great 2018. The card is beautiful and attractive, appreciate your son for this card, the first Picture above is beautiful, thanks for your informative post. Its always a pleasure to read all the post, and thanks for being an inspiration throughout the year, and may blessings follow you all the days of your life:) stay blessed.

    • Thank you dear Genevive, and also for all your support throughout the year. I’ve so enjoyed your posts and I love that we’re friends even though physically so far apart. May you and family have a blessed and happy Christmas. Here’s to an excellent and healthy 2018 to you all … 🙂 🙂

  8. I am happy to hear that you are reunited with your family and enjoying the beach which reminds me that it is summer in other places on our planet. Also, it’s heartening to hear that your government may be finding its way toward a new direction.

    Tell Mike I think his cartoon greeting is super duper. All the best to the Scott family in the new year!

    • Thanks Marian so much! We wait to see what will transpire with the new ANC leadership.

      I will certainly tell Mike when I see him later, thank you.

      All best wishes to you and family and for 2018!

      The grandchildren may enjoy Dave’s video in case you wonder about the broccoli on top of his head. It’s quite funny; he made it about 5 years ago. The Kiffness – The Broccoli Song – YouTube – unsure if this link will work, but it would just be getting onto youtube and typing in the kiffness and accessing the broccoli song ..

  9. Hi Susan – enjoy Plett and the family … having a lovely Christmas and festive season … love the walk along the beach. So glad to read your thoughts of CR and his election to lead the ANC – not yet the country …

    Have a wonderful time from a challenging change of country … life is interesting here – and now we have snow, not quite snowbound but almost … tales to tell – cheers and thoughts – Hilary

    • Looking forward to hearing your tales Hilary! I wish I automatically received your blog posts.

      How long are you going to be on Vancouver Island? However long, may it be fruitful and productive and I hope research into Emily Hobhouse is going well. All best wishes for the festive season, snow and all! Susan

  10. Such a cute card! And your post, as always, brings plenty of food for thought. Blessed Christmas, Solstice and New Year to you and yours! Jeanie

  11. A very happy Christmas/Solstice to you Susan and to your family from your knowing and envying Plet friend!

    Talking of boils building rather than being lanced we face the hatred and antipathy here with the factions supporting and hating Brexit in equal measure.Half the country is spitting at the other half.

    It reminds me of times long gone in SA. I was writing about Trevor Huddleston the other day and it brought it all back so vividly.Hope CR has the courage he is going to need!

    All good things P

    • Thank you Phi for your Christmas Solstice wishes. I wish that for you and yours too.

      Yes, I’m pretty aware of the spitting and splitting just about everywhere in the world. Your analogy is graphic. There is too much energy in the hatred and antipathy. The US, UK, Middle East, SA, North & S. Korea to name a few are also building boils – they’ve got to burst at some stage …though who knows the outcome of that …

      Have you made what you wrote about Trevor Huddleston public? That man is a hero … I don’t know whether CR has his kind of courage – we shall have to wait and see. I gather CR was instrumental in some sort of peace process in Ireland not all that long ago. And he’s put out a few fires on the continent …

      All best wishes to you Phi, thank you for coming by. Susan

  12. Dear Susan, Happy Solstice Day! Oh my Goddess, talk about the tension of the opposites … with the fat cat and the rescue cat within your stories … this is why I enjoy Jungian thought (especially MLVF!) with its symbolism and mythology so much! If you haven’t already read Von Franz’s book, “The Cat” I would highly recommend it. Totally love the Camus quote!

    Curiously, and in many ways, I can relate to my own “poison” (metaphorically!) representing that of a boil … one that I began to slowly lance myself at mid-life. Only then did the poison begin to truly ebb away. And as for beneath the wound … hope, beauty and promise. The healing (I sincerely hope!) will continue. The smiling moon of your top image fits perfectly.

    What JOY to read of your family festive gathering in the beautiful Plettenberg Bay, to see your photographs and Mike’s fantastic Christmas card! A time to stand still and together with the people and places, and faces we love. Time to give thanks for all that we have. I also pray for a fresh direction for your beloved homeland. Warm and wild blessings to you, Deborah.

    • Deborah, this is an excellent example of my learning from the comments such as you – when you say eg about the rescue cat and the fat cats – I truly did not make that connection, so a thank you for spotting it!

      I don’t know about MLVF’s The Cat … I will search this out pronto.

      Yes, I believe that boils fester for a long time, and take a long, long time from time of lancing to remove all that is ‘poison’ – and then does the healing begin, and continue … as in ancestors, your lovely piece of writing yesterday.

      May your festive season be joyous in all that you be and do, dear poet …

      Warm wild and wonderful blessings to you! xx

      • Re: Cats! Oh I just love it when that sort of connection happens! “The Cat” book by MLVF is totally awesome. Have a read of the Amazon reviews, see what you think. Yes, that’s so true about those metaphorical and those literal “boils” … Ha-ha! I’ll write a poem about mine someday!

        And if you didn’t already guess, yours, Jeanie’s and Elaine’s are my top three blogs EVER! xx

        • Cats … also bowled over! Of course I looked at the book on amazon and what it said. I must still read the reviews. Feminine Redemption –

          And, thank you for putting me in such august company with Jeanie and Elaine! That is one HUGE compliment thank you! May I return it and say, now that I think about it, I would also put YOU in amongst my top 3 blogs, the other two being Jeanie and Elaine! Take a bow 🙂 … I’ve learned so much from yours and them! I envy yours and theirs facility of grace and ease in their writings 🙂 …

          Just while I think about it – I read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s ‘The Slave’ just recently. A powerful book that leaves no stone unturned. Set in Poland in the 17th C. I think you would love it.

          • Wow, that’s just amazing! Thank you so much … I’m now typing with the silliest grin on my face ever! Hmm, I’m off to Amazon myself re your book recommendation …hey, cue music … it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! xx

        • I checked out the book on Amazon, but not yet the reviews which I will still do and see if there’s anywhere that it’s on kindle. Or if there are papers on it. I wonder if The Cat is in her book on fairy tales .. which is at home in Johannesburg!

          Deborah, you put me in such august company with Jeanie and Elaine! Thank you for the LOVELY compliment. I’ve never consciously thought about top three blogs but now that I do, you and they are in my top three for sure! I have an envy of all three of you – of your ease and grace and facility with words, articulating what I so often would love to –

          I finished yesterday Isaac Bashevis Singer’s ‘The Slave’ set in 17th C Poland. He leaves no stone unturned. I think you would love it!

  13. Merry Christmas Sue – I have so enjoyed your blog.
    I hope the solstice brings serenity and a change for the better for The Beloved Country – that it so deserves.
    Peace and love to all the family.

    • Thank you Sheila! Shades of Zim? I think so, but in different ways. Golly, we live in interesting times. But these ongoing ‘difficulties’ help to strengthen our backbone I like to think 😀. Love to you dear Sheila

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