Friday, 21 December 2012

Winter Solstice and the Mayan's Apocalypse ...

My clock is slowly unwinding towards 2013, when it will definitely pick up steam ... and the posts I had thought of doing were totally inappropriate after Sandy Hook ... so I’m having a short reflection instead.
Eternal Clock

Reflections lead to new information ... I found the revival of the Celtic tradition of Montol, the Winter Solstice, in the western reaches of Cornwall -  the Penwith area, of which Penzance and St Ives are the main towns – the term Montol reflects the ‘death’ and ‘rebirth’ of the sun through "Rivers of Fire" processions in the town.

Many of us have lost loved ones this year, have suffered in many ways, or are caring for others in much need – we can so easily forget people’s sorrows, trials and tribulations ... as we get so tied up on our own worlds we forget to focus on those in need, or just those who could do with our thoughtfulness and compassion ...

Rivers of Fire - Penzance
 Montol  takes me back to Cornwall and my mother’s roots, now my maternal roots, stretching back to the fisher folk of St Ives in the 1800s – and further back into the recesses of time, as we know it – Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Middle Ages ... when the written word started to record our history.

Haab Calendar - one of the system of
Mayan calendars

Yet the Mayan civilization may have arisen in 2,600BC, but they set their calendar so that the end of the current World Age would coincide with certain astronomic events, namely the point when the rising sun on the winter solstice appears to overlay that part of the galaxy we term the ‘Dark Rift’ – an apparent gap caused by interstellar dust and gas cloud.
(see more here at The History Girls blog - from which this extract was taken.)

Apocalypse depicted in Christian
Orthodox traditional fresco scenes in
Osogovo Monastery, Macedonia
Should the end of the world occur – then I wish you a tender farewell ... but I suspect that the future telling of a new World Age is much more likely. 

It has sort of drawn attention to my new beginning ... as I look forward to happy years ahead – with so much opportunity to be grasped.  However I will always remember my mother and her desire for knowledge, which we were able to share as I explored new historical horizons, and how she expanded that knowledge through her queries, always being amazed that I was sharing these quests with you.

Christmas Lights on the
fisher fleet in Mousehole
Harbour, Cornwall

We are in a time of dark despair ... yet if we can look beyond – there are hopes for new beginnings: people are more compassionate and more aware ... so through this amazing group of bloggers, your families and friends we can influence those around us to smile more, volunteer more, help others ... and probably most importantly give of our time – just those extra few seconds, minutes with people who hanker for company and love ...

Have a wonderful Christmas and festive season with your families and friends ... with plenty of time for giving and sharing with those in need ...

I shall be around and will post anon – either this year or next!  But I’ll be calling by your blogs as I go ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


  1. As long as we have hope, it will always get better.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, Hilary.

  2. I firmly believe that the despair that many feel is due to the propensity of the media to dwell on and exploit, for ratings, things that are tragic. That's part of the reason that we limit our daily exposure to the mainstream media.

    Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!!!!!!!!!

  3. Merry Christmas, Hilary and a prosperous New Year.

  4. The new year certainly holds promise for a new beginning. Merry Christmas Hilary, I wish you only the best, good health, prosperity and happiness. (:

  5. Tomorrow is always something to look forward to.
    Better days, happy days, content days.Days full of love. You never know what will pop up looking for the better.
    Yes we do miss those who we lost every day but they are still and always with us and we can always light a candle for their souls.

  6. Hi Hilary,

    Lovely post. It really is how we treat others that makes all the difference. Thanks for this positive reminder to reach out and be there for others no matter how big or small it may be.

  7. What a lovely, thought-provoking post.

    I'm sending you warm, festive hugs for Christmas.

  8. Lovely Hilary!!! I like the contemporary Mayan interpretation of the end of the world today - it's the beginning of a new one!

    Have a peaceful Solstice! Spring is just round the corner. Take care

  9. I hope this is a time of regeneration and one of kindness and compassion.

    We are fast becoming a borderless society in many regions of the world. I sure hope we can live responsibly and treat one another with dignity and respect.

    Here's to a healthy and prosperous 2013!

  10. I admire your constant quest for knowledge and know you must miss sharing this with your mum. But you still have us, all your blogger friends, and I, for one, really appreciate that you share what you learn with me. Have a wonderful holiday season, dear Hilary.

  11. @ Keith .. thanks very much.

    @ Alex - absolutely - hope will lead us through ..

    @ Mike - I agree the media has much to answer for ... sadly 'we all (many many of us)' believe what they write and what they show ... very sad. Don't watch or listen is a good maxim.

    @ Bob - many thanks and to you ..

    @ Ellise - love your thoughts and I'll happily pass them on to everyone in the world, especially family, friends and bloggers ..

    @ A Lady's Life - tomorrow has much to offer, or we have much to offer to others if they are suffering or feeling sad .. and we can light that candle ...

    @ Duncan - thanks so much for coming by ...

    @ Madeleine - appreciate your thoughts - and return those warm festive hugs down towards a flooded west ... actually we flooded in parts of Sussex too.

    @ Old Kitty - yes .. that's the best idea isn't it 'a new beginning' - certainly one I'm looking forward to ..

    So far so good for a peaceful Solstice .. and Spring will be wonderful ... still don't want to lose time though, while winter passes on its way ..

    @ Stephen - good words: we need regeneration and a time of kindness and compassion ... and I hope we can all have that healthy and prosperous 2013 ... especially to those in desperate circumstances under undemocratic peoples ..

    @ Inger - thank you so much .. I love my learning, so I'm very lucky to be in a position to be able to do it - and to have had the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts with my mother and have her interact too during her illness.

    I'm so grateful you and apparently many bloggers appreciate my posts - that gives me much pleasure ..

    Many many thanks .. I hope you all have a lovely festive season and happy times ahead .. cheers Hilary

  12. Cornwall is part of the UK that I've always wanted to visit. I've heard it's very much like a different country. Some day I'll get there!
    Happy holidays!

  13. Hilary, somehow I knew you would continue to educate me even in the face of impending apocalypse. Have a Merry Christmas and here's to a great 2013. Thanks for playing!!

  14. Lovely post, Hilary ! I sure hope 2013 will be a good year for many of us; and I think blogging (which means for me - connecting with other people) is a way to contribute to that. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  15. Well, for better or for worse, we're all still here. Let's hope the "worse" is all behind us, and there's nothing but good stuff ahead. A very Merry Christmas, Hilary. It's been a pleasure getting to know you, and I hope you have a wonderful 2013.

  16. Like you, I enjoy learning about history, the past. We learn more than just interesting tidbits from it. Thank you for a warm and positive message. Happy Holidays to you!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  17. Thank you for demonstrating respect for the grief Americans are experiencing. You are a very kind and thoughtful person.


  18. I tried to do an upbeat post, as you just read. John Donne's lifts me. I hadn't read it for a long time. We can find despair if we want to...very easy to do in this world as it is. But I'm trying to be positive, following your great example. Lessens stress, makes me feel better physically and emotionally.

    Yes, I too "shall be around" and will continue to drop by to be uplifted by your positive and inspirational posts. Thanks again so much for your kindness to me and Jen this past year....

  19. I do not think God will let anyone know ahead of time - we are to say awake and be ready.

    Merry Christmas.

  20. I'm glad the Mayans were wrong, but I had no doubt.

    I know you suffered a big this loss this year. My thoughts are with you.

    I wish you a good 2013, Hilary.

  21. @ Sean - Cornwall is lovely ... but you love the Scottish Isles I think - Cornwall is rugged, but not quite as tough as the Scottish Celts!

    @ Chuck - just a little, but glad you appreciated the odd note of history!

    @ Frauke - how lovely to see you again - it's nearly two years isn't it .. and connecting is the thing - you too a merry festive season

    @ Susan - well that's also true .. for better or for worse! Is it only a year or so .. anyway I love my forays over to have a laugh with your take on life ..

    @ Shannon - yes we should learn from it too - as you rightly say .. we need to stay and be positive at all times .. it just makes life easier ..

    @ Diane - we definitely can make a difference .. it shows through with many bloggers ..

    @ Janie - Sandy Hook has been so so sad - and to think of the families and community is just very difficult to put into words ... I simply cannot imagine. So appreciate your comment ...

    @ Ann - you're doing so well as I know you have much troubling you .. and that poem is reassuring isn't it - we never know where life will take us, or when it will take us, but we are all of one human family. It's lovely to read it reassures you so much ..

    Thanks Ann .. it's always lovely to see you here, but also to be in touch - communication can and does mean so much to many of us .. I'll continue on that path ..

    @ Sandie - so true ... we need to fulfil all we can, while we can and then we will be ready ...

    @ Theresa - I'm glad I'm still here - though it is soaking wet once again and I'm afraid many of the rivers will have flooded and many will have very difficult Christmases ...

    My mother going was a surprise and I obviously miss her, though together we'd had a good innings and a good time, so I cannot complain ... and now am ready and need to move on ..

    Thanks so much everyone - lovely to see you here .. and I'll be visiting again soon .. big hugs to you all and wishing you a very merry Christmas - Hilary

  22. i'm glad the mayans got it wrong today...have a great holidays!

  23. I sure hope you are correct on the new age and order. I have been reading from friends who are in the Mayan regions that the New Order is what they are expecting. Anyway, glad we are all still here. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  24. Here's hoping 2013 brings you luck and happiness. Warm winter wishes. X

  25. @ Tammy - yes I have to say I'm glad the Mayans were wrong for the end of the world ... but I'm happy to have a new world order ..

    @ Rhonda - as above for Tammy .. I'm glad you're confirming that the New Order is what is expected ..

    @ Anne - many wishes ... a dry end to 2012 would be kind at the moment!!

    @ Yvonne - thanks for your thoughts ..

    Gosh I can't believe our wet weather - it's almost unbelievable ... they were rowing barrels of beer to the pub - the only way through .. but the pub was becoming flooded ...

    Have a happy next couple of days before Christmas Day itself .. cheers Hilary

  26. As always, Hilary, a very thoughtful post. As you look back over the year and look forward to new beginnings, I hope you enjoy the festive season (no floods!) and wish you joy, peace and blessings. Many thanks for your visits to and encouraging comments on my blog, much appreciated.

  27. I am glad we are still here! :) Thinking of and praying for you this holiday season.
    With love and appreciation,

  28. Never lose hope. Have a very happy Christmas and a fantastic new year!

  29. Thanks for this post Hilary. I wish you a very happy Christmastime and a blessed New Year. Thanks for your thoughtful posts throughout 2012!


  30. I love the way you write, Hilary, and I was comforted by this post. We are in a time of dark despair, but through that there are so many wonderful friends like you. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too.

  31. I hope you have a merry Christmas, Hilary and a wonderful new year!

  32. Yes,

    Now that we have gotten past the End Times, I believe that we can begin a new age, perhaps filled with hope, peace and love.

    It may be difficult, but why not, eh:)

    Like Zen said, a journey to the Curry House begins with but a single step :)

    Merry Christmas, and a VERY Happy New Year :)

  33. Hi Hilary,

    The human, Gary, is still in a state of shock that the world apparently didn't end on December 21. After placing his life savings aka piggy bank coins, on a bet the world would end, he feels rather cheated. The Mayans have much to answer for.

    Dear human, your words resonate with hopeful wisdom that beyond the darkness that has befallen this fragile planet, a brighter dawn may well be on the horizon. Mankind, in harmony, can make it so.

    Gary is most grateful for your thoughtful interaction on his site. On behalf of him and his family, I, Geoffrey the garden gnome, wish you a most peaceful Christmas...

  34. @ Jenny - many thanks for your thoughts .. we won't be flooded .. have a lovely time yourself - I love your photos of Saltaire and surrounds, with those special surprise shots ...

    @ Karen - oh so am I! You too have a lovely peaceful time .. with hugs back ...

    @ Christine - yes so true, never lose hope - hope will take us through.

    @ Denise - pleasure .. I'd love some of your sun and warmth .. appreciate your comments

    @ Lynn - really so many thanks for this comment ... it is wonderful how we tend to be here for each other ...

    @ Deniz - many thanks ..

    @ Mark - well we survived and you did too on your Hawaii island - and yes I'd like to think it's the time of new beginnings to become filled with hope, peace and love ..

    I'll leave that single step to the Curry House - if you don't mind .. but I'll step out towards Hawaii!!

    @ Geoffrey - Gary's found someone else to fill in for him has he?! It was a shock to find we're still here ... and once again having to face floods (not here thankfully) ... and so much rain ...

    Geoffrey - wise words: mankind in harmony would be wonderful wouldn't it ...

    Pleasure Geoffrey - my thoughts to you and your gnome family together with Gary and family - many thoughts ..

    Have lovely Christmases and happy days ahead with family and friends ... Merry Christmas from me! Cheers Hilary

  35. What a beautiful, uplifting post, Hilary. Thank you.

    The news is always filled with so much tragedy that it's easy to overlook the fact that countless people are performing wonderful acts of kindness. I do think we ought to have a 'good news' channel on our TVs.

    Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and the new year.

  36. Humans usually manage to hope, I hope its something we never lose.

    Loved your post as usual in this time of some sadness.

    Merry Christmas or perhaps I should say Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

  37. @ Shirley - it's readjusting our societal thought processes to positive rather than spending our time dwelling on the negative, whining about others' actions and just simply not helping, caring for others - as you say.

    @ Jo - thankfully we do (eventually) remember to hope, often after much oppressive thought, which draws us down ..

    Many thanks ..

    Shirley and Jo - here's to a happy 2013 with a Merry Christmas in between ... cheers Hilary

  38. This is a lovely post!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!

  39. I hope that the blessings of Christmas help you heal. Take care of yourself. The world did not end, which is good. It means we have a chance to do a little bit of good and to ask for forgiveness.

  40. What a beautiful, thoughtful post, Hilary. Merry Christmas!

  41. Hilary, I'm so sorry about the flooding. Stay safe and dry.

  42. The 21st is past and we are still here, Hilary, so I join you in that hope we can share some peace, love and goodwill through our lives and our blogs. When the amount that's wrong in the world seems so overwhelming, the best we can hope to do is spread our own circle of love by helping those we can do something for. Happy Christmas!

  43. Great post, Hilary! It's always a pleasure to visit here as you share something worthwhile each time. Thank you for the positive encouragement in the dark times, and may we rejoice in the Light as we celebrate Christmas. Hope you have a special one and much joy and blessings.

  44. Great post, Hilary! It's always a pleasure to visit here as you share something worthwhile each time. Thank you for the positive encouragement in the dark times, and may we rejoice in the Light as we celebrate Christmas. Hope you have a special one and much joy and blessings.

  45. @ Sherry - many thanks .. happy gardening and music ... in 2013

    @ Munir - yes a lot has happened hasn't it .. and we need to ask forgiveness, while caring for all -

    @ Pam - many thanks .. enjoy your Broadway Readers Club in 2013 ..

    @ Theresa - the flooding for many is serious ... thankfully as a family we will be alright - I just feel for many

    @ Val - good to see you .. from across in Amsterdam .. I too hope we can have peace and harmony for many, many of our world in 2013 ... that ripple effect is essential isn't it ...

    @ Connie - really appreciate your comment .. somehow we have to look beyond the negative, while dealing with our own challenges, yet knowing there's hope for the future ...

    It's so lovely to see you all - thanks so much for coming by this pre Christmas season .. and I look forward to seeing you all after Christmas and the coming of the New Year ... cheers - Hilary

  46. in my paste life i wuz a sainte ives fisher bunny too. i was the best catcher and they gived me menny fishing meddels. and onse a trofee!

    i loves you.

    if my jannie ever stops drinking she wine, she will come and wish yoo some christmas happyness too.


  47. I'm very happy we're still here, Hilary. Our power went out last night and so my husband and I watched the stars. It was restful, peaceful, and quite magical.

    Your posts have been so inspiring this year. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Peace, Hilary. I pray God blesses you in a very big way.

  48. Beautiful post, Hilary! Thank you. Merry Christmas!

  49. @ Blue Bunny - soooo luverley to zees u ... we needz fischermenz 'ere .. sheeting wiv rains and thunders ...

    My luvs to u and your mistress Jannie - I hope she stops drinking zee vino before cooking the Christmas dinner ... big hugs to all of you .. xoxoxoxo

    @ Joylene - I know being around after the apocalypse has worked out well - watching the stars must be magical - all the clouds are over England at the moment ... rain, rain go away ... Just to be able to sit at Lake Cluculz in silence watching the twinkles - sounds fabulous ...

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment ..

    @ Julia - thank you - wonderful to have you here ..

    Thanks everyone - Merry Christmas today to you all - have the most lovely time - Hilary

  50. Hi, Hilary! I hope you had a good Christmas. Happy New Year!

  51. @ Michelle and Susanne - many thanks .. I hope yesterday was full of fun and you too have a very happy year ahead ...

    Cheers Hilary

  52. Hi Hilary,

    The ending of the Mayan Calendar signals a new era. Rapper Kellee Maize has made a few songs about what she thinks it means. It never was about the end of the world. It just goes to show us that ancient civilizations can teach us something still.

    Happy New Year! And all the best in 2013!

  53. Hi Hilary, I was recently sending up little prayers for you and other friends who have had recent losses. The holidays are always a little sad for me since my mother and father have passed. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and here's to a happy, healthy new year!

  54. Beautiful post, Hilary!! I'm very glad I found you this year. Here's hoping the new year brings lots of peace and happiness for everyone. :)

  55. @ Chase .. the ending of the world probably was one of the early interpretations, life (knowledge) evolves and so we realise it'll be a new era .... except those old thoughts exist ..

    @ Martha - many thanks for your prayers for those of us who have lost a loved one .. it's good to remember though ..

    @ Tamara - so thoughtful of you .. and like wise here's to a peaceful world ..

    Thanks so much - have very happy breaks and enjoy the family and friends and here's to a happy 2013 - Hilary

  56. Another wonderful post with an important message. Thanks for all you do, and have a happy and healthy New Year!

  57. 'We are in a time of dark despair ... yet if we can look beyond – there are hopes for new beginnings:'

    Hil, I read recently that visionaries don't deny reality, they look through reality to see what good is possible.

    I think you are a visionary.

  58. Dear Hilary, Now..... I'm losing it. I know I read your post and wrote a comment in my mind but perhaps I got distracted because I don't see it. I feel so self-absorbed, just being into my own issues this summer and I'm so sorry but I didn't know about your mother's passing. That feeling, when your Mum goes, is like you are no longer "somebody's child." And it's lonely.

    I learn so very much from your posts. This internet is the "Cat's pajamas." When I was young we had the library for knowledge. If we were lucky we had a set encyclopedias in the house, but they were very expensive and beyond our budget. My kids all have a far better education than I have had but I'm still learning. And thank you for your posts.
    Ring the bells for the New Year.

  59. I was just writing on Arlee"s Page
    (ie Tossing it out), then I remembered you. I just checked that I had already written to you. I am hoping that I will be able to better organize myself with my blogging and my comments. Take care of yourself. I will probably write one more entry before the New Year welcomes us. Cheers!

  60. Hope you had a great Christmas, Hilary. Best wishes for 2013. x

  61. How wonderful to have had a mother who awakened you to a love of knowledge, and now to be able to pass that on through your blog. I enjoyed the thoughtfulness of this post. It's good to pause and reflect, and winter solstice is the perfect time for this. I expect you will have missed your mum on this first Christmas without her.

  62. personally, i have many friends who have lost loved ones this month. puts my flimsy life into perspective...beautiful post. we need a wake up call to be good to others while we are here.

    happy new year! glad i met you this year!

  63. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  64. Wishing you an abundant New Year 2013 has many adventures, as we reflect on time past we will leap expectantly into our journey, blessings, Amandax

  65. @ Julie - so grateful for your words .. HNY to you too!!

    @ Suze - good heavens .. me a visionary: well thank you I think is about all I can say ... that was out of the blue - I've learnt to look beyond, I've needed to and still do ...

    @ Manzanita - many thanks for your thoughts .. I do that all the time = wonder if I've written a letter or not ... I usually have but it's at night - not much good! Too much going on in our lives - and quite understand that.

    You'd commented on my Hobbit post re my Ma ... I also do that! Get myself reading a post and then commenting on the next one. Mother's are the essence of life aren't they and should never be forgotten or ignored ...

    I really appreciate your comment about my posts etc and am delighted I let you see another side of life, which opens your eyes to other things, while remembering snippets of life itself ... We do/can learn so much from the blogging world ...

    I love the idea of the phrase "Ring in the Bells for the New Year" .. it's a great thought concept ..

    @ Munir - it's always good to see you and thank you for commenting.

    @ Patsy - gosh .. I see you've been round about about and obviously are very happily enjoying your first Christmas together and looking forward to a very happy and successful 2013 as a couple - and have set off once again ...have fun!

    @ Juliet - there's always that other side of the coin isn't there ... the one that can help those in adversity, while guiding us who care on to understanding the reason for finding ourselves in this position - yet giving us help through accepance ... and giving us an outlet at the same time ... help is a two-way process.

    Your winter solstice leads you into the darker evenings - I have to say I'm just looking forward to a 'lighter' year ...

    ... and yes I definitely missed my mother, but fortunately she had a full life, maybe not the easiest, but I was lucky she wasn't suddenly struck down early/earlier in life - appreciate your thoughts.

    @ Tara - I lost my best friend 10 years ago very suddenly ... and you're right - about our flimsy lives being in perspective. My thoughts to your friends - and to you in your care-giving support and understanding for them ..

    Thank you so much - the blogging world is amazing and it's just great being around so many wonderful people

    @ Has - so many thanks, you too have a great year ahead ..

    @ Amanda - many thanks for your thoughts re my comment on your blog .. I too wish you an abundant and happy 2013 ... life's adventures do lead us forward leaping expectantly into our journey ..

    Happy New Year everyone .. many many thoughts for a very happy and productive, caring 2013 ahead .. Hilary

  66. Looking back is always so instructive, and, for me, comforting. Our technology has shaped dark times and our bright and beautiful ones, so they are different from those that came before, but the essential human experience is still a common connection between yester-year and 2013. How fortunate you were able to share the love of that historical perspective with your mother.

    May this year be all that you desire.

  67. Hi Lee - our history - both nationally and personally - as you say is so instructive and we, if we can take the time, learn so much.

    Both my uncle and my mother loved discussing all things - I struggled to keep my end up ... but they both introduced me to new perspectives on life - despite all things they've left me that desire to know more: I'm lucky = the good side of their last days.

    Thank you - I'm looking forward to many things this year .. lovely to have your comment ... Hilary

  68. This was inspirational Hilary. I always enjoy your take on the world. Looking back has lots to teach us, and never losing hope is good advise.


  69. Hi Donna .. so pleased you enjoyed the post and my take on the world as I try and put different thoughts out there ... never losing hope is essential isn't it ...

    Thanks Hilary