Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Magical Yule Beginning

Unless you live under a rock you are aware of the total Lunar Eclipse that occurred in the wee hours of the morning, which is also the Winter Solstice. This hasn't happened in 372 years (1638) and won't happen again until 2094. Since you are reading this, you obviously don't live under a rock (and if you do, I am very impressed by your wireless server!).

The boys and I spent yesterday learning a little bit about lunar eclipses. Basically they learned that it is caused by the Earth casting a shadow on the Moon because the Earth is between the Sun & Moon. Shannon will be 7 in January & Tristan is 4 1/2. I don't expect them to grasp much more of this, especially since I had to look up the info to be certain of what I was telling them.
We also talked about how long it has been since the last total Lunar Eclipse occurred on the Winter Solstice and how long it will be until the next one. I told them that, if they're lucky, they might be alive to view the next one. I tried to explain why Justin & I wouldn't and how nobody on our planet now was alive for the last one. Those were more difficult concepts for them to grasp.

Shannon found a scrap piece of paper yesterday and created this for me, without me being near/over him or knowing what he was creating. This is what I love about homeschooling & unschooling.

We went outside last night, and like so many people saw only clouds. Although we would've love to seen the actually Moon & eclipse, we weren't saddened. We still woke up the boys and, with them in our arms, wandered out onto our deck to gaze at the reddish sky for a while. It was beautiful. Magical. Dark. Softly glowing red. The air filled our lungs and bodies. We knew so many other people were outside, gazing up with us, and we felt connected to them all. A sense of awe spread through us. We felt loved and whole.

I am saddened to read comments on Facebook this morning of disgruntled people who also saw the clouds but didn't see the beauty. There is a saying 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' and I suppose this holds true now. You can look upwards and still not see the beauty.

The Winter Solstice also marks the beginning of Yule. Different people celebrate this in different ways. It is an ancient celebration that has, like so many other ancient ways, been melded into modern celebrations. From now until the 1st of January will be the 12 days of the Yule celebration, more commonly now known as the 12 days of Christmas.

Holiday songs fill my head right now. Particularly I have James Taylor singing 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' playing in my head. I will share it with you.

Whatever you choose to celebrate, if you choose to celebrate, know that we are all connected. As we stood outside and breathed in the night air, we felt our breathes in sync with all of you.

Happy Yule Y'all.

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