Winter Solstice is here for us in the northern hemisphere. The longest night is upon us and then just like that the wheel will turn to bring us a molecule more daylight with each new dawn. Already weary from the pandemic and it's high cost of life, distance, and uncertainty many of us are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. But what if just for this moment you steadied yourself where you are and surveyed the way you have just journeyed? This season is one big threshold - first the solstice then the new year - and threshold's give us the opportunity to look forward and backward while also remaining in the present moment.
Many of us are tired - we were fatigued before this year began and now the constant stress has challenged us. Winter is the time for rest, and this year, it seems we have been given the opportunity to really tap into the winter season's essence. Learning to rest is no easy lesson, and one that our culture doesn't often support. Rest can take many forms beyond nightly sleep (and naps :-). Rest can look like lounging, creating, meditating, bathing, healing, dreaming, etc. Rest is giving our bodies, minds, and spirits time and space to luxuriate in what feels good and nourishing.
So on this sacred day - the longest night - my invitation is to rest and dream. The future will be here soon enough without any effort from us. May you be safe, may you know shelter, and may you find refuge in this time of transition & renewal.
The Awe of Winter
The official start to winter in the northern hemisphere is today. Winter Solstice is an invitation to touch into the natural world, to reset ourselves to our own natural rhythm, and align with the larger natural cycles. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and the demands of the external world, the solstice in its cover of darkness is a brief moment to move inward. This time of year often highlights for me the fragility of life. The year has moved too quickly even with all of its challenges and setbacks and I find myself grasping for a bit more time.
When the light first begins to fade in the fall we hunger for its return. That seeking light can hinder us from fully embracing the opportunity to sink into the rich depths of our being-ness. So much this year I have thought of the tenderness of life - the temporary-ness of those I love and care for and my own impermanence. Grief, in all its forms, is a part of living - and I want to honor this part - give it room at the table - with all the other states of life. The fragility of life feels so heightened with the trees naked and the earth bare. The natural world feels less chaotic and noisy than when everything is in full bloom – a stark contrast to our busy season of celebration. The natural world is more vulnerable and open and the question arises, “when do we strip down the way the earth does?” Truly exposed, tender, not for sex or cleansing, or the voyeuristic gaze but for the witness who sees us clearly and truly and looks in awe? Do we look at nature in her winter with awe? If not her - certainly we don’t look at each other in our winters. And if we do - then quickly we try to turn each other into spring or summer, rushing the cycle along. I realize this is an unconventional holiday message – and I really want to be the girl that only writes about rainbows and unicorns, but then I would be the naked tree with fake leaves instead of lights for decorations. I hope you will join me this holiday season to celebrate what makes you YOU. What are your true decorations? What is the Truth that resides in your heart at this moment of wintering? Honor it. So that we may witness its beauty.
My solstice blessing for you is a bit of time to reconnect with your natural self, a remembering that darkness is fertile and healing when it is pure and calm, and companionship that can hold your spring and winters.
Many Solstice Blessings!