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Every Monday morning at 6:49 and 8:49, IPR News Radio looks into the night sky with Mary Stewart Adams, former Program Director and founder of the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, who has been telling stories of the night sky on IPR since 2013.

In the Stillness Where We Meet: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

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It’s the still time of the year. Sun and Moon have had their last meeting and it was exact, causing a total solar eclipse. Jupiter and Saturn come to their great conjunction today, December 21st, and it’s exact, their closest approach to one another since the 1600s. Venus watches over the gate of dawn; Mars guards us through the night.

And today, December 21st, Earth and Sun meet in that sacred place among the stars where even the breath is stilled. The outer light has gone; the only sound, a beating heart.

What will we carry forward from this moment into the life ahead? What belongs to the humanity we hope to become? The only way is forward.

With my best Solstice greetings, I will close with these famous lines from John Donne, written in the 1600s, around the time that Saturn and Jupiter were last as close as they are now:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 
own were; any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom 
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.