It’s Winter Solstice, today, December 21st. Joanie & I are hiking into the cabin today. The sun will go over the south ridge by 2:45 p.m. or so. Then the flat and diminishing twilight until the first twinkling stars appear. Sound of tumbling stream and chirping canyon wrens abound. The leaves have mostly fallen from the alders that huddle along the Big Santa Anita. Look up and see the fine, lacy branchlets that radiate out from the white-gray trunks.
As we approach Christmas and the day light is brief, I find this poem written long ago. Consider this:
“Old friends, dear friends,
As years go on and heads get gray
How fast the guests will go
Touch hands with those who stay.
Strong hands to weak, old hands to young
Around the Christmas board
Touch hands, touch hands.
The false, forget. The foe, forgive.
For every guest will go and every fire burn low
And cabins, empty, stand.
For who may say that Christmas Day
May ever come to host our guests again.
Touch hands. Touch hands.”
— W. H. H. Murray, December 25, 1897
Take some peaceful time this Advent Season for yourself or with a close friend and hike up the Winter Creek, the Big Santa Anita, Manzanita Ridge, the Rim Trail to Mount Wilson, or out into the West Fork. It’s all good.