A Different Kind of Solstice

Maybe it’s the inner Druid in me but I really look forward to the winter solstice.  Especially now that we are in the damp, dark Pacific Northwest, I know that at least it can’t get any darker.  I know it will get wetter. One out of two ain’t bad. (That’s what I tell myself anyway)

I was reminded of another winter solstice  as I read about the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn tonight. Two years ago, Melissa and I were anchored near Puerto Escondido and we enjoyed Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in a pre-dawn sky.

Mercury Venus and Jupiter over Danzante Island

Venus, top right, was spectacular. In real life she looks like a small moon. Stately Jupiter is the brighter of the two planets just above the mountains of Isla Danzante. And little Mercury is just to Jupiter’s left

I wrote then about our Cunning Little Christmas  and how far flung our family was.  In 2018, Andrew and Jill were living in Paris at the beginning of a one year travelling honeymoon. Claire and Dan were living in Ecuador. And we were bumping around the Sea of Cortez aboard Galapagos. It was a bittersweet Christmas with everyone spread out across the globe. But even though we weren’t together it still felt like we were all where we were supposed to be.

This year could not be more different.  Melissa and I are sharing a house with Claire and Dan. Andrew and Jill are only twenty miles away in Tacoma.  We are all about as close as an American family can get. And still it feels like we are all where we need to be. We have gotten a little manic with Christmas shopping; perhaps we are trying to make up for our small celebrations aboard Galapagos.  We are doing our part to revitalize the economy.

Our Christmas Cholla tree aboard Galapagos. It is still hanging in the salon.

Galapagos is snug in her berth just two miles from the house.  Melissa and I go down to visit her once or twice a week.  It feels good to be in the salon, or bumping around the shop.  Being aboard gives me a moment to reflect on my cruising life and make plans for another adventure.  But first I need to start any of the myriad projects to get her ready for another passage.  She is due for a substantial overhaul of her rig and other major systems. I’ll start in earnest this spring. When it stops raining. Whenever that is.

We’ve been good little capitalists this Christmas. Chungus the cat prevents us from having a proper tree. She’s a jerk.

Wherever you are, may the sun shine on you a little more tomorrow.