Yesterday, December 21, 2020,  for the first time since the Middle Ages, Jupiter and Saturn were in close enough alignment to be viewed as neighbors.

It’s almost funny to think that this very rare alignment is happening in a time when so much of my daily life seems to be out of alignment.

This article from USA Today captures my sentiments perfectly. The image below is a snip from the site that shows the headline with an unrelated photo and an unrelated caption.

I’m sure it’s more a matter of webpage layout than intentional irony. And I want to say, my sincerest wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the individual reportedly injured in the accident, along with my heartfelt thanks to the FDNY first responders who came to the rescue, as first responders around the country so reliably do, with their professionalism and courage.

The other interesting thing about the clip is that the image has nothing to do with winter solstice, and it has nothing to do with the propane tank accident.

It’s about how holiday decorations in the hospital ward “lighten the mental stress a little.” And I want to also offer my heartfelt thanks to those staff members in medical offices and businesses around the country who are continuing to overcome the hardships of caring for patients and customers while maintaining some level of normalcy during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Truly, all of these people deserve thanks. Without people doing what they can to help each other things would be even more of a mess.

The headline “Worlds Align this Winter Solstice” juxtaposed against these relevant and tragic stories speaks volumes in a time where so much of the world doesn’t feel normal.

As Americans are asked to restrict travel, avoid social situations, and shelter in their homes, this year’s special winter solstice is a reminder that there’s something bigger at work. While these times feel strange and scary, it’s encouraging to remember that it’s almost the end of 2020.

On September 30, 1859, in his address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Abraham Lincoln recounted a story:

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — how consoling in the depths of affliction! “And this, too, shall pass away.” And yet let us hope it is not quite true. Let us hope, rather, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.

And to all of those who are fighting that fight for the best cultivation of the physical world, where intellectual and moral prosperity thrives, I am deeply thankful and grateful and forever indebted.

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