summer solstice in the southern hemisphere

The days get shorter, the nights longer, infinitesimally it seems until all of a sudden it is noticeable. For you in the northern hemisphere, it brings in shorter days, longer nights. A change of seasons, a change of attention, perhaps one of intention, a change of attitude – assured at least of the certainty of the changing seasons –

The birth, heralding a change –

Jesus, a carpenter, a man who’s message was love for one’s neighbour, compassion for the beggar and the blind, removal of the log in one’s own eye. A man caught between the collective of his time and his own individuation. A man who’s message lives on. His birth is celebrated at Christmas, in churches, or in homes, or quietly by one’s self. And then a few days later, the new year …

I looked for suitable images for the New Year but they were mostly with fireworks and glasses of champagne. Instead I’m using one I’ve used before: profiles of two women leaning towards each other, heads bowed, hands together and fingers pointing upwards, in silent meditative prayer –

And hands again, covering the earth in love.

What a year it’s been … This is not the time to write about all that’s been happening since last I blogged. In brief, we were up in Johannesburg for two weeks towards the end of November. Those thunderstorms! The rain, running like a river on the road. Those jacarandas in full purple bloom. A dear friend had a tea party for me one Sunday afternoon so that was a lovely and catch up with old friends. I saw a few others individually, for a coffee, a lunch, a dinner. A few medical specialists as well – in for a cataract op next month so another trip to Johannesburg mid January, which is about the time that my daughter-in-law gives birth. Son Davey and Jüte are the proud and loving owners of a puppy, Pablo, a Boston terrier. The photos below shows me at the town house in Morningside with the jacarandas in the background, the other a friend’s garden in Johannesburg, another a rainbow here from the balcony in Plett.

Pablo & jacarandas

Omicron is fairly rife here in SA but not as dire as the last wave. The holiday makers are out in full force enjoying all that Plett has to offer. The weather has been tricky, cold sometimes, the last few days it feels like summer.

There’s not much else to say, except to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy, safe, peaceful and healthy festive season. For those of you going through difficult times, may these be eased soon. I so appreciate your friendship over the years and your reading my blogs. I’ve so enjoyed yours. My contact with you means much to me.

a night light with its ripples from the garden at our Morningside townhouse.

42 Comments on Solstice, Christmas, New Year

  1. A lovely update Susan. Those jacarandas make my heart happy – such a delicious color! Wishing you a most wondrous and blessed New Year, and may it prove a year that brings ease, grace, and great peace to all those struggling and in need.

    • Thanks for coming by Deborah. I agree, jacaranda is such a delicious colour, not that I’d ever thought of that adjective for them but now I do! Here’s to all goodnesses in 2022, for you and everyone world wide.

  2. Happy New Year, Susan. Wishing you peace, health and happiness in 2022! I always enjoy your blog posts, so I’m looking forward to more this year 🙂

  3. Thank you, Susan. Your blog post made me teary-eyed. The St. Francis prayer was my mother’s favorite. How I miss my parents this time of year.
    I love all the beautiful artwork in this post as well as the divine sentiment. May this year be one where we all take the log out of our eye. Big love to you and your family this holiday season and in the year ahead. xoxo

    • Great to see you here Pam. Yes we remembered all those no longer with us, parents especially, and those who could not be with us due to distance. I know you’ll be interested – we’re awaiting the final judicial outcome tomorrow of an urgent stop to $hell and their seismic blasting along our coast for oil and gas. The first plea was overruled – this is our last chance. This will be the BEST news if $Shell is stopped. xx

  4. Hi Susan – before I forget – hope that eye op goes well … I’m sure it will – medicine is amazing in this day and age. Also that Davy’s and Jute’s baby brings much love. I’m living the quiet life here – makes sense … I hope by the time Spring arrives we’ll be easier. Good to hear from you and that Francis of Assisi prayer is so relevant today … cheers for now – Hilary

    • Thanks for good wishes re eye op Hilary – I’ll be in good hands. And thanks for good wishes re baby! He’s due – and so is she – on 15th Jan… my two sons were 2 weeks overdue so who knows! We’re also living very quietly. It’s a nice change. I’m glad you found the St Francis prayer relevant for today’s world. All best, Susan

  5. St Francis has a good prayer there. It’s more appropriate this year than ever. I do like the idea that this time of year heralds a change, for the better I pray.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  6. This is lovely: you choice of topic and the scenes. Your New Year greetings are perfect: We don’t need fireworks especially, but we do need prayers for peace and hands joined in friendship. I love all the photos, especially the ones with you and Pablo.

    Like you I look forward to a better new year. And yours with a grandchild. How very special! Hugs to you, Susan. ((( )))

    • I’ve just commented on yours Marian – so our fingers are tapping away at the same time .. here, its 1.44 pm. Thank you for commenting on the photos and images too … Hope all is going madly well with you all, hugs to you Marian – if I could a heart emoji lap top I would .. xx

  7. Thank you, Susan. Exquisite tenderness flows from your words and stories. I’m nurtured by being in relationship with you. May we all have inner peace and joy in the New Year. With love and gratitude from the opposite end of the sun’s pendulum.

    • Thank YOU Elaine. ‘Nurtured’ is exactly the feeling I have when I read your posts. I see you have one up for today which I look forward to. From one pendulum to the other, Peace and Love, Gratitude to you. May the new year usher in goodwill and an end to this pandemic. Keep safe & well.

  8. Susan, I love reading and seeing your lovely Blog. Your pictures are so lovely. I wish I could explore your area in person.

    Being in the Northern Hemisphere, I am so looking forward to seeing more daylight despite the COLD weather. Hopefully Winter will disappear quickly as it is quite cold right now and snow is even threatening. We might actually have a white Christmas. Sadly, I’m not receiving Dave’s posts and I miss them. You have a lovely and creative family.

    I wish you all a lovely and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, from my house to yours!

    • Thanks for coming by Gwynn. I keep an eye on the weather in your neck of the woods, and hope that the turn of the sun brings much needed relief! Re Davey’s videos, they’re easily available without payment of any kind. I think you just have to follow on FB. I’ll check that out shortly but that’s how I get them. So from my heart, house & home all best wishes to you and John – I hope you’ll have some family with you? xx

      • John’s family will be coming by tomorrow (Thursday) to celebrate an early Christmas. I’ll have to Zoom or Skype with my family this year. With possible snow and my son and daughter living so far away now, it is hard to connect with them. The summer weather makes the roads safer. Enjoy your lovely family!! Have a VERY Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!!!

  9. Susan, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022. And, especially, congrats and much happiness to Davey & Jute and their new little family. I so enjoy Davey’s videos. They make me smile. I always love the photos of you and your surroundings, and the jacaranda is one of my favorite trees — first encountered them is SoCal; wish we could grow them here in Delaware. Love the St. Francis prayer; he’s my favorite saint. I’m getting cataract surgery in Feb. & March. Much as I like gazing at the full moon, it’ll be nice not to see 3 overlapping with my left eye and a bouquet of moons with my right. I value your friendship and am so glad we are able to keep in touch. Peace and love, Carol

    • So we’re both having cataract surgery Carol! I love your description of viewing the full moon with eyes as they are. Thank you for your good wishes Carol for Davey & Jûte, I’ll pass it on. I don’t know if you saw one of his latest, Imagine which is about the exploration of our coastal waters by $/hell. South Africans are up in arms about this and we’re waiting to hear the very latest news which we hope will bring an end to Shell. I WAS going to write about this in my post, but I prevailed …
      I too am grateful we keep in touch. It’s been a long and valuable friendship, much valued by me. Love & Peace, Susan

  10. Wow, what beautiful photos you include in your post today Susan, that sunset is ab-soul-utely spectacular and little Pablo melts this poet’s heart! It’s always lovely to hear your news, especially the part about one of your friends having a tea party for you! What a busy time January will bring with the forthcoming arrival of your grandchild, oh how very exciting for your whole family! Is this to be your first grandchild? And here’s to hoping your eye surgery will be positively life-changing.

    As we edge closer towards another lockdown in the UK, I realise that the strain placed on everyone’s mental health is overwhelming, so much so that many have been unable to hold on to the Tree of Life, as suicide rates rise. As I’m quietly taking a break from social media till January, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. Sending you much love, light and laughter across the oceans between us, Deborah.

    • Thanks Deborah for your lovely light hearted comment! (Well, the first part of your response.) Yes, it’s our first grandchild. Hope this newcomer will not be the last!

      It’s tragic that so many cannot hold onto the Tree of Life 🙁 I watch the news on Sky and BBC and am aware of how these awful lockdowns impact on ordinary everyday life. Here, our unemployment rate is sky high, poverty is rife, GBV is through the roof and I do not know how people do hold on. Mental Health is I believe being taken more seriously and steps are actively being made to implement more crisis centres and telephone lines.

      So, here’s to you and your beloved taking a well earned rest from the travails of the world and may you find greening in all walks of life as you celebrate this season and the new year. With Love and Light to you across the oceans, Susan

  11. Hi Susan, it is lovely to read an update from you. Joburg has definitely empty out now that people seem comfortable that Omicron is not that bad and the beaches won’t be closed. I did my last Christmas shopping this morning and the parking lot at Cresta as only about 1/4 full. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all the best to David and Jute with the birth of their baby in January.

    • The shops are not as busy as I thought they would be although WW had run out of things I needed at 11.30 this morning. They open at 5.00 in the morning! I don’t think I’ll make that thanks very much. Thanks for your good wishes Robbie and a very happy & safe festive season to you and family. I’ll pass on your good wishes to David & Jüte.

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