Sunday, September 22, 2013

happy first birthday to me!

A year ago today, I posted my first blog post and Day by Day with Maria was born. Thanks to all of you faithful readers--I'm still here!

I thought just for fun, I'd repost my first blog. There is one important change to note:

The 2013 September equinox occurred today, September 22, at 3:44 p.m. CDT (20:44 UTC). This equinox marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Day by Day with María, September 22, 2012:

sky over Lake of Galilee

According to
"The equinox happens today at 14:49 Universal Time, which is 9:49 a.m. Central Daylight Time for us in the central U.S. The September equinox takes place whenever the sun is at zenith – straight overhead – at the Earth’s equator. This magical moment signals the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere."
In the 1990 movie "Home Alone" (the first one), there's a scene where Macaulay Culkin's character, Kevin McCallister, is ready to fight off the thieves that he knows will be breaking-in to his house (I sure hope I'm not spoiling the plot for anyone!)--and Kevin says out loud seven words that I often find myself repeating:
"This is it. Don't get scared now."
What does this have to do with the equinox taking place September 22, you ask?

Equinox comes from the Latin words for "equal night." It is not only the point where one season turns to the other, it also points to the fact that on the equinox, both day and night are of equal length.

So after today, the nights—and the darkness—will continue to get longer and daylight will get shorter and shorter.  Did you know that the sun even sets faster around the time of an equinox?

California coast, north of Malibu

I have always been deeply affected by nature, especially sun and water. Living in land locked Oklahoma, I work at making sure I get to the ocean regularly for my “fix.” But when it comes to the sun, it’s a daily love affair. I am fed by its light.  I am nourished by the sun’s warmth. Sitting out in the mornings with my playful Siberian Husky Diego is not only an essential part of my daily quiet time, it is also part of my prayer time.

Winter is very difficult on me, physically and emotionally.  It makes me feel claustrophobic. I find it harder to breathe deeply. And when the light starts getting shorter and night spreads its big arms over the land and over my days, I become Kevin in “Home Alone” reminding myself, “This is it. Don’t get scared now.”

I have to work especially hard at living in the moment, not worrying about tomorrow--while doing what I can to take care of myself, day by day. For example:
  • When winter temps offer a break, I go outside and face the sun, even if it means wrapped in wool blankets. 
  •  I spend money on flowers, bright, colorful ones—and spread them throughout the house, anywhere where I spend the majority of my day--from the bathroom and nightstand to the kitchen and my desk.
  • I play fun, upbeat music. Can't give in to emo-blues tunes!
  • With my husband's help, I changed the light fixtures to add light inside our house. This may sound funny, but it’s made a huge difference for me!
  • And when I can, I take a break and go south, preferably near the ocean! 

my back yard