Twins

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November 6, 2021- The presence of multiples in my life-doubles, triples, quadruples, and so on, tends invariably to enrich experiences. My twin sisters-in-law have been a prime example, and but for the care provided for Penny’s mother, in her last years, those years would have been a lot drearier. They still are close with one another, long after her passing in 2018, and I hope to visit them, and other family and friends, in March of next year.

The greatest influence in my life, over the past forty years, has been the collective Teachings of Baha’u’llah-and of His Herald, al-Bab. As long-time readers of this blog may remember, the birthdays of both Messengers of God have been celebrated over two consecutive days, in either October or November, according to lunar reckoning (Badi calendar), for nearly seven years. Prior to that, we Baha’is followed the observances according to each Messenger’s birthday by solar reckoning (Gregorian calendar), to wit: October 20, for al-Bab and November 12, for Baha’u’llah. Lovely gatherings, both virtual and in-person are being held this weekend, with today in honour of al-Bab and tomorrow, in honour of Baha’u’llah. That these celebrations dovetail with the Hindu Festival of Light, or Diwali, is an added bounty.

The greatest blessing upon the Universe and all of us who dwell in it, is light-whether it be in its natural physical form, in the form generated by electricity, in the illumination provided by truth or the healing energy of love. Light propels life along a strengthening and progressive path. Its twin, equally beneficial, in light’s wake, is heat-in its proper measure. The correct amount of heat sustains life, maintains health and, in terms of the heat of truth-generates understanding and enlightenment.

Thus, we have examples of two being better than one, as are bonded couples, pairs of siblings and dyadic teams. More essentially, where would we be without the Double Helix?

The Christmas Star

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December 21, 2020-

Today being the start of winter, north of the Equator, we look to the days getting longer-a minute at a time. The entire planet also has the bonus of seeing Jupiter and Saturn, still discernable as separate planets, but close enough to one another to complement one another’s light, from this Earthly naked eye’s vantage point. Legend has it that the three Magi regarded the convergence of the two planets, in the night sky of 2020 years ago, as sign of great portent, thus giving rise to the term “Christmas Star”.

I will take anything that lifts people’s spirits, and besides, there are no mistakes in God’s Plan, which includes the orbits of planets around stars. It is no concidence that we honour Jesus the Christ’s arrival in this world, right around the time of Solstice and that the convergence of these two planetary giants in the evening sky should happen right about now, as well. Christmas is rightfully a celebration of Light, as was Hanukkah, earlier this month, and Diwali, in mid-November.

I spent the afternoon of Solstice outside, visiting Prescott’s unsung treasure. Covered in quartz crystal, and thus named Quartz Mountain, the peak of modest height is reachable from either of two trailheads-Aspen Creek, on the north and White Spar, on the south. I took Copper Basin Road to Aspen Creek trailhead, and hiked the three miles each way.

Quartz Mountain, from the Wolverton Trail

I had been here once before. On that Sunday afternoon, four years ago, a family of four was gathering pieces of quartz. I was told by a Forest Service ranger, after the fact, that this was illegal. Since it occurred to me to not remove quartz, myself, well enough was left alone, that day and today. It was enough for me to be in this inspiring setting, during a bright and mild Solstice afternoon.

There was a fair amount of company, in the area today. On the way to the trailhead, I stopped as a family of five deer crossed the highway, single file. The last animal hesitated, then crossed after apparently getting my message that it was safe. On the trail itself were five bicyclists and six hikers, though none were at Quartz Mountain at the same time as me.

So, there was solitude, enveloped by fellowship, as so often has been my experience on these trails.

West face of Quartz Mountain summit
West face of Quartz Mountain summit

I got back to the car, just as it was starting to get dark. After dinner at the Raven Cafe, I went back to Home Base, in time to catch the two points of light that made up the Christmas Star. Sorry, my camera does not take detailed photos of distant orbs.