Holidays

One of my New Year resolutions is to "live generously." Which to me means not just being generous with other humans, but doing my best to live in a way that is generous to "all my relations," as my Indian friends say, the multitudes of other beings with whom we share this glorious blue planet.

Gratitude (noun) The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. From the Latin, gratis, meaning, "pleasing," "thankful"

As one year transitions into the next, I like to stop and take time to appreciate the gifts of the year about to pass before I make my list of hopes, dreams and resolutions for the year to come. (If you can't stop and appreciate where you've been, you won't really be able to appreciate where you're going either.)

So here's my list of gratitudes from 2014:

Jars of eggnog on the kitchen island, waiting to go to happy homes.... Jars of eggnog on the kitchen island, waiting to go to happy homes....
My special cobalt blue solstice candle-holder My special cobalt blue solstice candle-holder that has traveled with me for decades....

Today is Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere. For me, the day when Earth's tilted rotation brings the sun to its farthest south arc across the sky marks the year's turning point.

New year, new moon--and long nights.... New year, new moon--and long nights....

This time of year as the long nights of winter yield much-too-gradually to the turn of our hemisphere toward light and warmth, I spend time deliberately tallying my blessings.

Not in a superficial, oh-isn't-life-wonderful way.

Luminarias line the walks, colored lights shine from the front porch, and Salida's "Christmas Mountain," a 700-foot-tall outline of a tree with ornaments on a hill across the river, glows in the left background.