The first day of winter 2020 arrived with promise.  Venus and Mars twinkled over our neighbor’s cow pasture as the flock still dozed, eagerly awaiting the approach of a four-wheeler with pre-dawn lights on—their sign that hay would soon arrive and be spread out in a tidy line from a roller on the back of their farmer’s bovine breakfast wagon.  From habit, they lumbered over and lined up along the neatly distributed row of hay and munched their way into awakeness.

by Cathy Salter

 That day was many things.  It was the winter solstice astronomically marking the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter.  Contrails appeared across the sky again and again, putting my father in mind.  His birthday was December 21st, and it’s been twenty-one years since he passed.  A pilot, I imagine him now flying high overhead as the world awaits the much-anticipated conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  On that winter solstice day, this alignment forming a ‘Christmas star’ would be visible at twilight.   

 It was also our wedding anniversary—a date chosen because my mother had always wanted one of her four daughters to have a winter wedding.  

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~