Image: courtesy

‘Solstice’ is from the Latin: sol:sun; sistere:stand still. For a nano-second there is a pause – then the turning towards a new season begins. An ascent and a descent occurring at the same time – and we hold the tension of the opposites.

 The summer solstice is today in the southern hemisphere – the longest day of the year, the shortest night. Most mornings I’ve been awake at 4.30 and it’s already light. Up here in Johannesburg on the highveld (2000 metres above sea level) it gets dark only around 7.30 p.m. Down south at the sea, night time falls only around 8.30 p.m. It’s both a still point and a turning point –  it gets lighter fractionally later and darker imperceptibly earlier – 

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, your winter solstice means the longest night and shortest day of the year – and slowly, spring with its promise of hope and renewal approaches.

May the winter and summer solstice’s stillness be the precursor to the turning point for our world as we approach the new year.  May we rise here in South Africa and stop already with the slanging matches across all spectrums. It’s been a very difficult and trying year here. We are more, much more than Zuma (our president) and his sycophants. We have very good people within the government but it seems all their hard work is overshadowed by corruption and greed. World wide as well – let nations and its peoples rise into their full potential. More than anything we need peace, compassion and goodwill on our planet. There is great uncertainty around the world; we’re saturated with bad news. Where do we stand in the midst all of this? Yet, this allows for a deeper consideration of what it means to live our lives as authentically as possible not only for ourselves but to help others too in whichever way we can.

May we revel in Mother Nature’s rains and thunder storms, bringing much needed relief to the drought in our land and a break from the devastating heat we’ve been experiencing.

May the snow and coolth be beneficial and beautiful in your part of the world. Each snowflake is a part of the snow fall –

The Christmas cake was made by my good friend Nicki, and the remaining mince pie is the last of a home-made batch by her sister Leigh. Mince pies (18) and Christmas cake were received this past Saturday – I’m saving the last one for my younger son Dave when he arrives on Christmas Eve and we’ll cut the cake on Christmas Day.

Christmas Cake

The card was created by my elder son Mike


Thank you all so much for your friendship and support to my blog. I so appreciate this community – more than words can say. In a significantly meaningful way my life is enriched because of you. Thank you!

A very Happy Christmas and festive season to you all and may the new year bring health, joy, peace and renewed creativity.

60 Comments on Solstice, Christmas, New Year

  1. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. We have snow in Washington’s Columbia basin, unusual for this area, but very much appreciated by me who misses it. It was terribly hot and dry over the summer and our new plantings in the Fall need the moisture and benefit (snow keeps the bugs down). Your son is quite the artist!

    • Thank you Sharon! Glad the snow obliged for you – and the plants! We’re steamy hot here … above 5 degrees C of our normal temps.

      Have a wonderful 2016! May life’s richest blessings come your and your family’s way, now and always ..

  2. What a lovely, hope-filled post. All your sentiments are like universal prayers and a lifting up of what could be. Thanks for all your positive energy, and the light that you shine in the world. So glad to have met you through the A to Z blogging challenge.

    • How lovely of you to come by Mary and thank you for your lovely comment. I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day (here in SA it’s called the Day of Goodwill) with family and friends. May your creative theatrical endeavours continue to flourish as well as those engaging characters I remember from the A-Z!

  3. Solstice Blessings, Yule Blessings, New Year’s Blessings. We need all of it, Susan. Sometimes personally and always globally. Thank you for writing from the perspective of the world around you, including what the sun’s doing there. I love being reminded of the large world.

    My focus has been giving my mother-in-law a 100th birthday party and, two days later, Christmas Eve (she’s Italian, so that’s her day) celebration. One to remember just a little as her memory slips away. Mission accomplished. My sons, daughter-in=law, and I celebrated Christmas Eve later at home, opening gifts outside in the sun on the southward facing deck. It was 70 degrees. Today my quiet life hs returned after five days of family. It takes a little time, a long walk, and sometimes a long cry to adjust to solitary life again.

    Wishing blessings to you and your family, your country, my country, and the world.

    • Thank you for all the blessings Elaine and likewise to you… glad your mother-in-law’s 100th birthday celebrations have been accomplished – and what an accomplishment for her to reach this very grand age.

      These last few days here have been extremely busy yet full and valuable. Already here it is darker earlier. I’ve just come in from watering the garden even though it looks as if it may rain. And planted some seedlings and removed dead and burned leaves. People here for Boxing Day tomorrow –

      May your adjustment to solitary life go well – it really is an adjustment after the busyness of it all. Tears are always fructifying even if tinged with sadness. Long walks at your beautiful home sounds like bliss for the soul …

  4. It is unusually warm here, but that evening was chilly. We celebrated with a labyrinth walk and bonfire, welcoming in the extended light that will be coming our way.

  5. Susan, I behold the lovely photo of you with your cake offered in front of you, and I am grateful for the past 20 lunar cycles of time when you and your commentators have been the sweet “icing on the cake” of my life!

    My you and your family and our great community at Garden of Eden Blog have a blessed Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year of 2016!



  6. Dear Susan, What pure joy it has been to step into the exquisite and lush ‘Garden of Eden’ this year. I love your beautiful, poetic style of writing and the themes and subjects of which you write about. Thank you so much for this wonderful post and for all your rich inspiration, encouragement and support with my Poetry/Jungian blog. Great photo of you, love the image that introduces this post and your son’s fantastic card. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Warm winter blessings, Deborah.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Deborah! I’ve missed not receiving any recent posts? Always a joy to receive your evocative poetry and to peer into the depths in writing – 🙂

      Thank you for your support, lovely to know we connected initially through Jean and Jung’s quote –

      Warm summer blessings from this neck of the woods – and a Merry Christmas to you too!

  7. wow Susan ! what a beautiful posts, loved the pictures and am happy to stay connected; you have been a great inspiration for me this year. I did enjoy and learn so much reading your posts. Thanks for the meaningful, authentic and challenging posts, I have grown a little more knowledgeable and mature and I do hope to stay connected. May this Christmas season bring you lots of love, joy, peace,harmony and fulfilment. May this new year be bright, and yes I agree totally that there is so much bad news in the globe, but let us together spread, love, laughter, happiness, peace and harmony wherever we are… loved the picture with the cake… enjoy yourself ! Once again Merry Christmas ! and Peace filled New year 2016 to you and your family !!:)

    • Thank you Genevieve so much! I also have been inspired from your posts all the way from India, a country I truly hope to visit one day. We will stay connected – I like the sense of having a ‘sister’ who spreads the true meaning of gratitude of people and events. It makes me more aware and for that I thank you Genevieve.
      A blessed Christmas to you and family and here’s to a fulfilling New Year!

  8. I love that picture of you, Susan. It makes the distance seem unimportant, seeing you smile. 🙂
    We must continue to push for a better world, yes, in this season of celebrating joy and peace and always. Thank you for the lovely words. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Thank you Silvia! 🙂 Just about all the people who comment on my blog are far from SA but this means little. Yes, may we each do our bit to make the world a better place and pass this on to our offspring and others.

      Merry Christmas to you and family! I can imagine a little guitar strumming around a fire perhaps 🙂

  9. “Live our lives as authentically as possible.” Thank you, Susan. I love the image heading this post, and, of course, the one of you holding the Christmas cake. I am so happy for you and your family and all the wonderful things you are experiencing these days. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the sea when you arrive there. I will be with you in spirit.

    May all these wonderful things continue for you into the New Year.

    • Thank you dear Samantha! Lovely to hear from you. Did you see the lone mince pie in the photo? I’m not sure it’s there any longer – the phantom may have taken it.

      May our friendship continue over the continents and one day you’ll be here – and there – in different parts of SA.

      • Somehow I missed seeing the mince pie — I think the phantom ate it, and if it’s Moriarty, the Phantom of My Blog, then I know he did.

        Oh, yes, may our friendship continue — and in different parts of SA. I think of you when I sit on my porch and watch the—- Well, it always seems it’s just when my neighbor friends walk or drive by. 🙂

  10. Hi Susan – wonderful post … and the world tilts – gave me an idea for next week’s (motley) post …

    Love the look of the cake – I hope that lone mince pie will last?!

    The rains sound good – that heat can be ‘dreadful’ … what we’re in for .. I do not know – it’s still what I would call ‘warm’ – don’t really need a scarf, or gloves, and my jacket was open as I walked into town and back ..

    People – Zuma et al … I won’t discuss!

    Have a lovely family time .. and Mike’s card is excellent – talented son … cheers and Happy Christmas and New Year … Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary – and the world tilts – it’s a lovely image isn’t it?

      I can’t say about the lone mince pie lasting ..I’ve hidden it away but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone found it 🙂 Maybe even me?

      I’ve heard that the UK is unusually warm for this time of year and that the strawberries and daffodils are making a showing …

      Happy Christmas Hilary and a wonderful 2016! Thank you for being a part of my world! Susan

  11. I share your hopes for peace, joy, and global awakening.
    It is not terribly cold here in New Jersey, but it is a dark and dreary day.
    Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season. I hope you enjoy all the cake and pies–and perhaps get some rain, too!

    • Thank you Merril for all your lovely wishes! We had a thunder storm of note last night, lots of lovely rain, lightning – although the heat today has dried it all up!

      And yes, may there be a global awakening! May mean though that we each need to awaken for the global to occur ..

      Joy to you all ..

  12. It is a real pleasure to be a part of your blog community and for you to be part of mine. May I return your beautiful blessing to you: A very Happy Christmas and festive season to you and yours, and may the new year bring health, joy, peace and renewed creativity.

    • I remember that powerful dream of yours Susanne …I wish I could say that my dreams have been forthcoming over this festive season but they’ve been rather absent for a while. Maybe tonight. And if anyone reads others’ comments I really do suggest that they link on to …thank you for coming by!

  13. It seems that you are set for a wonderful holiday season. I am so happy for you and your family. My family too, is ready to spend many great times together. I wish for you and yours, to have a very Merry Christmas and a thoroughly happy New Year!

    • Thank you Marsha 🙂 We’re at home in Johannesburg over this festive season and will get down to Plettenberg Bay in the new year sometime so yes, this will be wonderful to be at the sea again. Enjoy all the times with you family and have a very merry Christmas and 2016!

    • Thank you Vivienne …. a ‘kind’ New Year. What a lovely wish! I wish that for you too. I’ve so enjoyed the social media interaction – imagining your world and you!

  14. May creativity bring ongoing joy to you and yours.

    I much appreciate your visits to my virtual island and your encouraging comments.

    Though our seasons are up-side-down, you feel near to my heart.

    • Thank you Ashen.. I too feel that – even though we’re continents apart, you are close to my heart. May your ongoing creativity continue to delight you and your readers … always image making.

  15. Dear Susan I so enjoy your interesting and well researched articles – thank you. Your prayer about this solstice stillness being the precursor to the turning point of the world reminds me of what I have just read : “medical intuitive and mystic Caroline Myss puts it: “Every single part of life – from glaciers to every species to every particle on the food supply chain to every religion to every form of currency to every form of communication to absolutely everything else – is undergoing some form of transition. We are experiencing a collective journey unlike anything that has ever occurred in the history of civilization – imagine that. Truly, just imagine that.” Happy Christmas to you and your family and a wonderfully creative 2016 to you too.

    • Pam, thank you so much. Carolyn Myss’ words are very powerful, something I believe too. I truly think this transition even though it seems to be a long time in coming is now at its tipping point. I hope this is not naive … but it’s what I think and feel in my bones. Imagine that – if it came to be. We are privileged to be in this era.
      A very merry Christmas to you and family. May you continue to blossom and grow …

  16. Yes, Susan, I echo Pat’s comments. I do enjoy your educational posts. I especially love this one as NOW my days will start growing longer. I enjoy the dark too, as it gives me time to feel at peace. But the sun adds joy to my life too. We need the dark and light to grow. So as Christmas nears, I wish you and your family a DELIGHTFUL and VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. I too value our friendship, and I value meeting people from around the world. Thank you for being a wonderful part of my life.

    • Thank you dear Gwynn for your always kind comments. I know you love the sun and walking along Paulsbo chatting to everyone and the seagulls .. You’ve said it: ‘we need the dark and the light to grow’.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  17. Lovely holiday wish, Susan. Happiest of times for the season from up here in California. It’s raining, cold, and an opportunity to tuck in with my family.

    • Thank you Jacqui – enjoy the tucking in. And thank you for your always rich posts giving your readers so many useful tips.. Good luck with your novel next year. Can we have some of your rain – I believe the drought has been broken in Ca ..

  18. And to you and all your family Susan. I hope to write more fully but this comes with all good wishes and thanks for such generous contributions to random posts and thoughts. South Africa is, as you say more than Zuma, it must rise to itself soon!

    • Thank you Philippa – and here’s to you and your writing projects and your ongoing blogs, always such a pleasure to read. Yes, I think SA will rise, even if it has to sink even lower –

    • Thank you dear Mira … love to you and Arunachala. And thank you for your always thought provoking FB posts and your own blog. Love to you from Johannesburg!

  19. My Dear Friend,
    Your blog has been a joy for me this year and I have enjoyed every article that I’ve read. I’ve learned some new things about myself because I was opened to what you had to say. Your family has also been a blessing to me. I rejoiced greatly when I heard Mike had been accepted. You and your husband are blessed with extremely talented boys.

    So, I too wish you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy your family and I look forward to learning from you again next year.


    • Patricia, thank you so so much! I too have learned that much more about life from you and your stories. I’m so pleased that you and Mike have had the interaction that you did and that you’ve heard some of David’s music! yes, we are blessed indeed!



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