Solstice 2022 will be at 4:47 PM on WednesdayDecember 21, Eastern Time
As the Sun rises in Atlantic City, the sea birds swirl in celebration. Every morning the birds celebrate. They come fly in circles along the water with each other in a celebratory manner. It’s nice way to wake up, when you can catch it. Pastel bits of color sweep across the horizon, and the immediate reaction is swirling birds. It doesn’t last long. Then they go about their day.
People show up and wait for the rising light with them. Every kind of person pops up on the boardwalk and jetties, standing and waiting for the sunrise. The sun greeters tend to hail each other with morning greetings. It’s a different breed than the afternoon crowd. To me, it feels like a gift everyone celebrates, no matter what kind of animal you are. Everyone is invited to share sunrise. One more short day, till we start getting a few more minutes of sun every day.
Christmas isn’t for everyone. Christ’s way is.
Compassion is. Every day. Christ wasn’t born December 25.
It’s Solstice time…Since the beginning of Time.
My grandfather said never forget the sick and the shut-ins.
They are part of us.
Telling these people that they can come meet you where YOU are at, is selfish and cruel. Meet them where they are at.
Thanks grandpa. Thanks for setting an example. Thanks for coming to my door as Santa for me as a kid, and for my children when they were small. Thanks for visiting the nursing homes and hospitals, and shelters and houses EVERY WEEK. You came to them. You made a box with a navel orange and a candy cane and an Asian pear, and brought each person a box. You started the season with about 500 boxes. You sat with every person you brought them to, and listened as they shared their heart. Grandma was your solid foundation of heart, and she held you up and helped you all the way.
You were my grandparents by marriage. You didn’t feel obligated. You made sure I felt loved. You made sure we all did, in the best ways you could. That’s the Christ way.
My heart feels very tender this time of year.
I read the obituaries for the first time ever a few weeks back. People are leaving, and I knew some of their families. I also knew two of them. One was a friend of friends. One was a guy I saw around town as homeless. His family put a beautiful obituary for him. They loved him, and said he struggled with mental issues from childhood. They were devastated. I saw his picture and recognized him immediately. His eyes. I never knew him by his name. I knew his eyes. They were unearthly. Like those of a Moroccan prince. He was gentle spirited. I remember telling him his eyes were beautiful. I cried that he didn’t find home. They wanted him. I saw him out there trying to make it. The world couldn’t hold him. He’ll be missed on Christmas. His name was Daeshawn I believe.
People are homeless. Philadelphia. Atlantic City. Homeless used to be “over there.” Now the shelters aren’t enough. The homeless are coming to your neighborhood now in suburbia, and hanging a sign at your corner store.
It’s not always because they need to get their shit together. It’s more that WE WHO HAVE MEANS need to get our shit together.
We are ALL living in a temporary body. It will decay, die, and you will leave it behind.
This is a quote from Bob Garbutt’s dad to the local high school football team he coached…”We are only as strong as our weakest link.” That coach’s team won.
We are children of God. We can do better.
I found a photographer who captures very well named Kristian Gonyea. He is a local Atlantic City photographer who is out there most mornings. I met him when he was taking green room pics with celebrities backstage a few times. Check him out on Facebook or his website https://kristiangonyea.com/
He sells prints of sunrise that will inspire you with wonder.