Brynn and Justin are asleep. Classical Christmas music is playing quietly in the kitchen. I’m thinking about the true meaning of Christmas.

I’m searching for something to renew my sense of hope. That fundamentally, our world is a positive, safe, hope-filled place. I want to be able to teach this to Brynn. And because it’s true. Not just a tool to cope.

But sadly, I suddenly sense I’ll never get that back. That true faith. (Shoot. What does this mean for my fundraising career!!) But really, not after this year. Not after what I’ve learned… am learning to understand… about racial justice and so much more. I’ve started to see the danger without the faith it will be okay. Climate change, hate crimes, war, violence, materialism, consumerism, disease, death. Violent against women. White nationalist views. For me, the world is not a safe place anymore. And for many, it never was.

I don’t know what to do about this. For my daughter, my family, my neighbors daughters, my neighbors’ families, our collective boys and girls, our children, our elderly our rich and poor, our community, our world.

I don’t know if I believe anymore that I can make a difference. Or that anyone can.


The meaning of Christmas. I’m thinking about our families, Justin’s and mine, and our friends, our home. I’m thinking about the food we eat. Our pile of heavy, warm blankets. The lights on the tree. Wrapped presents. My Muslim co-workers. Our global potluck. Minnesota. Our woods, lakes, streams. Lake Superior. The Sawtooth Mountains in winter.

I’m thinking about why I get up every day, and how I spend my days. And how I feel as I spend my days. How I treat others. How self-absorbed I’ve become. I’m thinking about all this against what my reflections on it all will be, the moments before I die.


I’m thinking about Brynn. Her blonde hair and peach skin. Her blue eyes. Her sweet words and phrases and laughter. How they swirl about. I want to hold her, constant. And just nest with her, and Justin. In our home. In our bed. Safe, at peace, and snuggled. At rest.


I don’t want the symphony to end.


(Picking a title I realized, it’s Winter Solstice.)


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