Friday, December 21, 2012

The Longest 'Shortest' Day of the Year

The Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012 is supposed to be the shortest day of the year.  In New York City, the sun rose at 7:17 am and set at 4:32 pm  -  at least according to the Weather Channel.

This year the day was given over to Tweets and message board posts about the Mayan calendar predictions for an end of the world.  That was almost entertaining compared to the rest of the day’s events. 

First there was the twenty-six gun salute to the children shot to death in a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut just one week ago.  Then there was the press conference held by the National Rifle Association during which the group’s leadership suggested future carnage could be averted if schools are secured by armed personnel recruited from among the ranks of retired police officers and military personnel.  The press conference was delayed a bit as the group summoned the courtesy to wait until the gun salute and moments of silence were completed.  For goodness sake, we cannot even keep our first graders safe and so far the only solution before us is to escalate with more weapons.  Even the Russians know better than that.

Somewhere in there Senator Boehner had a few terse words for the tax payers on the shortcomings of the Obama Administration in not finding a solution to the country’s runaway debt and flagging tax collections.  Apparently, it was another matter that the Senator was unable to gather enough votes together to pass his own party’s solution to the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’  If Senator Boehner were not such a cry baby, I would consider sending him a kettle and ask if he calls that black too.

Huh!  It was truly the longest ‘shortest’ day of the year.  As far as I was concerned the day could not end too soon enough.  I was glad to have my health put at risk for lack of life fortifying Vitamin D that can only be sourced from sunlight. I breathed a sigh of relief as the sun sank below the horizon.

Despite the dark and frustrating events of the day, I managed to recover good spirits.  My daughter and her friend arrived for the Christmas holiday the day before.  We began our celebration of the promise that is at the heart of Christianity. Jesus is still the Way and the Light even when we manage to get ourselves into trouble. 

What is more, the promise is for all regardless of who believes and who does not.  This is a promise that makes it possible to reach across even to those whose ideas are different from our own…or even abhorrent.  It is a promise that should bring together presidents and senators, educators and parents, taxpayers and special interest groups.

Merry Christmas!

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