Winter is officially here!

We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake.

~ Marie Ray

Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit a Medicine Wheel on the eve of the Winter Solstice.  A group of us walked through about four or five inches of snow in a juniper forest to the wheel.  It was built on a ranch in a place called Brush Creek.  My friend Colleen’s uncle, Tom Freestone, built the wheel back in the 60’s.  Using a petroglyph he found on his property for the design, he had it blessed by Ute elders when it was completed.  It was hard to see the wheel under the snow but what made the adventure special was the scenery and a spectacular orange sunset.  The sun set into a dark cloud before we could see it lined up with the solstice rock but that’s alright.  The magic of knowing that every year the sun sets in the same place on the shortest day of the year and rises into the winter season is enough.


I have to admit I’m a little envious of our Southern Hemisphere friends who are now celebrating summer.  It’s hard to imagine as the wind howls outside my window this morning that somewhere else it’s balmy and gardens are growing.  Where would we be without these cycles of nature, though?  The cycle of growth, death and rebirth that we experience every year reminds me again and again that this moment is all there is.  It’s hard, though, to stay in the moment and not rush ahead to Christmas Day and what to fix for dinner.  I feel a little anxious about the New Year and whether or not I will get a product ready to launch by my own self-imposed deadline.  I have cookies to bake and presents to wrap, animals to feed and a house to clean up.  Thankfully it’s warm inside, our tree has presents under it and the wind hasn’t blown our house down!


Each new season brings its challenges and its gifts.  We all make the transitions together and experience the cycles of the sun and moon simultaneously. Yet we filter each day, each moment, through eyes that are unique, a personal history of our own and an individual state of mind.  But, we are all connected too.  It’s important to reach out of ourselves, and maybe our sense of isolation, to others with love and gratitude for we are blessed to have people we can call friends and family as we journey through the wheel of life.



  1. Michelle M on December 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Loran, what a stunning photo! As beautiful as it is, I must admit I’m looking forward to taking the kids to the beach on Christmas day. It’s finally starting to feel like summer here.

    I really hope to have a white Christmas one day (funny how we always want what we don’t have!). It would be so different to my experience of Christmas – hot, seafood and salad for lunch, strawberries for dessert, the beach….

    And thank you for the reminder to be thankful for the people we are connected to. The past few days I have found myself focusing on my loved ones no longer here, but I need to change my focus to the precious ones still here, beside me.
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    • Loran Hills on December 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      I’ll trade you, Michelle! You come see the snow and I’ll go to the beach and eat seafood and strawberries.

      It’s good to stay present, over and over and over again.

  2. Carrie on December 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    What a lovely Winter solstice experience! Thank you for the reminder to slow down… to remember what’s important this holiday season… to remember we are not alone. Happy Holidays Loran!!

  3. Petrea on December 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Gorgeous post Loran!

    What a beautiful day you had. Reading your post really reminded me how much I do the same: jumping ahead to the days ahead instead of savouring to it’s fullest the day right infront of me.

    I too feel anxious about things that “need” (according to my standards) to get done and want to ignore that turtle nature inside that says slow down, enjoy the moment!

    Excuse me while I go have a listen to my turtle self.
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  4. Tanja @ Crystal Clarity on December 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Beautiful photo and post, Loran – the image makes me remember just how much I miss snow!

    It’s actually odd – it’s Summer Solstice down here in NZ, but our weather just doesn’t know what it’s doing. Lots of howling gales, followed by clear patches with brilliant sunshine, followed by angry, overcast skies.

    And you know what? I *love* it! I love being in a city with such variety in its weather systems. I do kind of miss having well-defined seasons the way they were in London… but Auckland’s home for me, and I love it with all its weird@ss meteorological inconsistencies 😉
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    • Loran Hills on December 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Tanja, I think weather all over the world doesn’t know what it’s doing. We just adapt, right?

  5. Gaelyn on December 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    What a wonderful way to celebrate with good people energy.
    I’ve been letting the cold get to me and that’s put me into kind of a slump. I really need to get out more. Thanks for that reminder.

    Christmas will be here before you know it, in the mean time, it’s Now.

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