Thoughts for a New Year

by Rick on December 25, 2020

Solstice 12212020
Jupiter and Saturn came together for dinner today,
hoping for a meeting of the minds by sunset.

Saturn: Thank you for coming, my boy.
Jupiter: Thank you for inviting me, Dad. I was hoping you would. Things have been looking pretty grim on earth, and I felt we needed to talk. I mean, I thought we were doing so well: reduction in world hunger, fewer people dying in wars, people wising up about taking care of the planet themselves…. Do you think I’ve been too harsh?

S: Not really, Sometimes you have to hit humans hard on the head to get their attention. 

J: Frogs born with missing limbs, that was a nice touch, right?

S: Yes, and the murder hornets got some people’s attention. 

J: So, you are okay with me ramping up the cyclones and hurricanes? And those fires… I was really proud of the orange sky. That must have gotten some people to do some thinking, don’t you think?

S: Absolutely! blotting out the sun really woke some people up. I heard some people say, “It’s the end of the world!”

 They both laughed.

J: Do you think they could see how many of the problems they were causing, themselves?

S: Well, you know people. Some got it, some didn’t. Some still don’t.    I know.    It’s frustrating. But some people began to see some of the problems they were causing: children in cages, fruitless arguments, distortions of truth, murderous policemen, arrogant, tyrannical leaders….

J: Yes, I’m glad they didn’t blame me. I’m doing my best with the mess you made creating those messy creatures. I always thought it was all  part of your plan.

S: What do you mean?

J: Well, you made them really good at so many things, including loving their own children…

S:I know, but all of my creatures do that.

J: Yes, but they started getting better and better at using that love of others,… for strangers. Used to be, they would kill strangers. Used to be that one third of all deaths were at the hands of another human. But today, that happens so rarely. They have been getting better at accepting others—at least not killing them. Look at wars. It’s so like you to look at the glass half-empty, but look at it now. It’s not just half full—it’s way more than half full. As the numbers have gone up (7.5 billion, today, right?) the numbers of people killed in wars is almost negligible, next to nothing in the greater scheme of things.

S: It’s so upsetting, though. I’ve often felt that I made a terrible mistake creating creatures that create. 

J: Yes, but you gave them empathy, and their oxytocin is flowing more and more.

S: I know, but it’s so upsetting how slow it’s going: Fascism seems to be on the rise again, all over the world. I loved it when English policemen didn’t even carry guns. Now it seems everybody feels they have to have at least one gun. And ignorance, anxiety, insomnia, depression, suicide are in epidemic proportions in America—America! I was so hopeful for America—a new start in a new land.

J: True, but I thought that is why you sent that new virus—the one they call “Covid-19.” Yes, it has killed humans—almost 2 million so far— but this common enemy seems to have brought them all together. That was brilliant, Dad. Never before have all the humans—all 7.5 billion of them—worried about the same thing, all of them working toward a common purpose. Everyone seems to be obsessed with that virus. It was a brilliant move.

S: Thanks, but now what do we do?

J: I say we wait. We have done enough. Let’s see what happens.

S: You’re right. 

J: It’s the solstice. The darkest days are over. Time to see what a new year brings.

S: Right. Time to wait. Time to wait and see.

Then a pensive silence fell over them. The winter solstice was drawing to a close. As the sun set, these two gods—the one responsible for all creation and wellbeing and the one who tries to keep humans on their right path—slid their chairs together on Mount Olympus. Then, after a long silence, Saturn spoke:

S: I had such hopes for this new century.

J: Your hopes, were well founded, Dad. We are only 20% into it, and already, the tragic flaws that you built in have been dramatically exposed. I believe the last twenty years raised people’s consciousness again—just like the Black Death did 650 years ago. I think we are ready for another renaissance. Just wait and see. We can take a rest now. 

S: I guess you are right.

J: Can I stay here, tonight? 

S: Sure, I was hoping you would.

J: I’ll get back to work in the morning.

S: I know you will, my boy. Sleep tight. And you know what? We should meet more often. Every four hundred years just isn’t enough for me.

J: Thank you, Dad. Me, too.







{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolie December 29, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Hope. Faith. Love. Thank you Rick; I loved your Saturn-Jupiter dialogue. We got a good look at them with our telescope.
Be well.

PETER J LOGAN December 29, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Very nice piece. Lovely way to look at the heavens (Shades of Art Hoppe.)

Mark Crosley December 29, 2020 at 4:29 pm


Jenny Cowgill December 29, 2020 at 7:42 pm

Love this. You are always able to step back and look at the big picture and find what unites us.

Michael McNabb December 31, 2020 at 11:17 am

Happy New Year, Rick!

Jim Clay February 21, 2021 at 7:57 am

These are great thoughts. Keep it up.

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