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Reflecting on the winter solstice

Kate Macko, Board Chair 

I sheepishly admit that I sometimes forget to make opportunities to pause and reflect, so I particularly appreciate the winter solstice. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, tonight is the longest night and the shortest day of the year. During this astronomical occurrence, one of earth’s poles is at its maximum tilt and the sun travels its shortest path through the sky. I love the quiet winter season here on Mount Desert Island and the solstice offers us a perfect reminder to take a moment and count our blessings. 

At this hinge of the seasons, many of us look back as well as forward. As I consider this past year at the Preserve, I am surrounded by memories of time spent in the gardens and natural lands, working through strategic project planning with fellow board members, the exceptional staff, and our community, and of the delight I saw on the faces of others enjoying the magic of the Preserve. I hope many of you are able to conjure similar moments to mind from 2023. 

And when I look ahead to 2024, I feel a familiar sense of anticipation for the coming months, knowing that while much of the Preserve is quiet in the winter, there is abundant activity in preparation for spring. Native seeds are being planted in the greenhouses. Webinars about trail building, Japanese gardens, and garden maintenance are being arranged for the winter months. The search for our new CEO has begun.  

So, on this winter solstice, I find myself deep in appreciation. I light a candle, send you all a wish for peace, and look forward to seeing you again in the new year. 

Photo by Nikolai Fox

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