Labyrinth kisses inspired moon and Venus conjunction

The holidays are, naturally, a very special time for the youngest members of The Martin (and Adams) family. There are five grandchildren aged 5 or under. The oldest are very aware of Christmas, a season that changes the meaning of coming expressions. For example:
“I want a kiss, Mamon!” does not mean the same thing in December that it means in, say, April).

Remembering the cacophony of last year, this year we spread out gifting for the children and placed limits on how many presents they would open. It worked very well. We also planned a variety of excursions for the adults..

“I’ve located a dance studio, Dad,” Mitra said. “And Stefan made a tool that will help Tiger and me draw a labyrinth on the floor.”

“A labyrinth? Like a maze?”
The labyrnth

“No Dad, a maze has multiple dead ends, a labyrinth has one route in and out.”

“I see.”

“Tiger and I usually make a labyrinth at The Mission at Christmas time, but this year, I wanted to share the experience.”

“And we’re building it on a dance floor?”

“It’s not just building it, Dad. The
Labyrinth represents spiritual development and inner growth. through the journey to our own center and back again out into the world both literally and metaphorically. It is associated with the spiral of life and creation. Each of us should take the journey to the center were we can think about our visions and inspirations for the coming decade. It is a way to think about the future in a setting that promotes creativity.”
the central maze Dec 2019

“My balance is sort of skewed toward the scientific side, Mitra. But, I’lll give it a go.”

When the family and ALL the grandchildren arrived, Mitra and Tiger had already laid out the labyrinth in blue tape on the dance floor.
The path to the center was long and tricky, you’d feel that you were almost there even when there was a long way to go. Tiger helped guide people and everyone took turns meditating and thinking at the center. We wrote our thoughts and brought them out to share. In most cases, Arrow brought them out to share.

One member of the group, Auriane, simply refused to participate. Darius and Leandra opted for an energetic approach.
Auriane napping Dec 2019

The setting was beautiful and the day was typical California ‘winter’, sunny and cool. Our visions ran the gamut from prosaic (“have the children sleep through the entire night&rdquoWinking to metaphysical (“restore balance and compassion to the world we share&rdquoWinking.

2019 TWL Photos

We also had a family lunch at a nearby beach restaurant that had both great hamburgers and a huge sandbox. And we happened to have a large number of children who liked to play in the sandbox and an equally big group that liked hamburgers. I tried, to no avail, to convince Nazy that a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato counted toward my ‘salad food group’ target. Tiger and Arrow also found some discarded helium filled balloons that they managed to launch into the stratosphere. At least I think its the stratosphere, we lost sight of them after several minutes.

Leandra on trampoline

Every Saturday I take Arrow to MyGym. This week, Darius and Leandra joined us. Leandra had never been to MyGym, but she surely had experience on a trampoline. She bounced more than 100 times without stopping.. We know because we counted…. until we got to 100.
Moon and Venus and Nirvana

This New Year also featured a beautiful conjunction of Venus and a relatively New Moon. Young Azelle really likes to go outside and look at the Moon. (The other thing she really, really likes is to watch the original, i.e. cartoon, opening video of The Lion King. I think that she’s memorized the video and the song. Whenever she comes to our home to visit, she grabs my hand and heads upstairs, she walks into my office and pounds her hand on my chair.

She was impressed by the New Year’s conjunction.

After the labyrinth adventure, we took the opportunity to pose fo the annual (
extended) family photo (in rainbow colors.) I have now concluded that it is impossible to take a photo that contains five smiling children all of whom are looking in (even) the same direction.

family indoors with the cape on the floor 2802

The visit from Darius, Christiane, (the lovely) Leandra and (the astounding) Auriane (who learned to clap while visiting) wrapped up far too quickly. They, together with two strollers, a car seat, four gargantuan suitcases and a couple of carry-ons easily made it to Seattle — a relative miracle since they were flying United. Happy New Year!

For last week's letter, please click here

tiger, Arrow, Auriane, Leandra Dec 2019

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