Winter Solstice & the Dance of Duality

The sun stands still.  And then it reverses.

The stillness happens at 2:47p MT on the day this post is published. I sit at my desk on the morning of darkest day of the year, wanting to root down, to burrow into the dark and shield myself from the cold, to rest and see what may germinate when light returns.

winter solstice, summer solstice

Each summer and winter solstice, I think back to a class I took while I lived in Japan. I filled my weekends that year dabbling in shiatsu, cooking, Japanese language, an obscure martial art that I can’t recall now, and macrobiotics.

I’ve remembered the most about the macrobiotics class. As the sensei introduced us to he way of life (the Tao), he explained a few fundamentals. The one that goes with solstice, in my mind, was this:

When something reaches its zenith, it begins to become its opposite.

This, to me, is profound. We reach the peak of summer, and we then head toward winter. Once the darkest part of the night passes, day advances.

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Birth Father in Reunion: Mike Milton & His Sweet Baby James

I’m so grateful to the adoptees who participated in Adoptee Month in November. Canadian Mike Milton, a longtime commenter and friend here, read the entries and offered his own essay as a birth father (Mike is also a late discovery adoptee, but that’s a story for another day.)

This month I’m pleased to share with you Mike’s experience of becoming a birth father, The Plan he and his son’s mom devised, what it all cost him, and what came back around.


Cut from the Same Cloth

I am a birth father. It was 1971, and we had named our son James. I remember him as sweet baby James after the James Taylor song from that same fall. We had a photo taken with him at a foster home the last time we saw him, with the only toy he had while still James.

His mother made most of her own clothes, had made her maternity clothes, and had repurposed the fabric to make the elephant doll for James. It was in the back of her mind that she might identify it later, if she should ever see it again. That was certainly my thought, as well.

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Expert Adoption Advice | Roundup of Adoption: The Long View Season 3

It’s December again, and as we wrap up 2022, we are also wrapping up Season 3 of Adoption: The Long View.

As we plan for Season 4 (and maybe beyond), I invite you to give us specific feedback. What challenges would you like to hear us explore? What would you like to know more about? Drop me a line with the subject line Hey! I listen to Adoption The Long View. Let us know which episodes in the previous three seasons have had an impact on you and what that impact was. We’d love to hear from you how to make Season 4 as relevant as possible to the issues that matter to you.


I’m incredibly grateful for the 11 amazing guests who talked with me during Season 3, a remarkable group comprising 7 adoptees, 1 birth parent, 4 adoptive parents, 2 people who got OFF the adoption roller coaster, and 2 people in differing roles within their interracial families (some in dual positions; don’t even try with the math). We heard from playwrights and podcasters, executives and educators, moms and dads and sons and daughters, wise and generous each one of them.

Thanks also to each of you who listen and rate our episodes. It really helps get the word out. This is a completely free podcast — no advertising and no paywall. Should you wish to contribute to its ongoing existence, we simply ask that you share this podcast with others. Many thanks for doing so.

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open adoption expert, educator, writer, podcaster, speaker