We are hunkered down now, chased in by several powerful storms. The winter chores are done: wood is in. Windows are tightened against gale force winds. Food is stocked in pantries and freezers. The island is now in the capable hands of the veteran year-rounders, and that is a delight to explore and savor. Main Street is empty and silent. The woods are silent too, except for an owl calling out to her companion, and a pileated woodpecker working away this morning. Even the deer, now that the hunting season is over, are settling down in the most protected thickets. Super Moon last week. Advent now. Solstice – the shortest day of the year – approaches swiftly. It feels like the Original Silence, and I am sliding down the Dark Spiral at the very heart of all things. Blessings to each of you, as your life and the life of our fragile planet lean towards the light.