We've passed the time of Harvest when day and night were in balance. With gratitude we celebrated our blessings and the abundance of life, gifts from the sun and mother earth. Now we await Solstice (from Latin: sol - sun, sistere - to cause to stand still).
ENCHANTED AUTUMN HOLDING LIGHT
Nature metaphors serve me best when I try to make sense of how I feel and what I am processing. I find Solstice to be a profoundly beautiful pause - the absolute stillpoint at the heart of darkness. As the sun inclines away from the earth, light and energy are withheld. We were highly stimulated and full of energy at Summer Solstice... the manifestation of possibility was upon us - everything flowering and fruiting. Now, at Winter Solstice, with diminished light and energy, we are given the opportunity to rest and restore - to go within, as the earth is doing. I can feel this in my body and spirit... born in February like new bear cubs usually are, I've always related to the urge to hibernate and follow a slower rhythm this time of year.
OF SILENCE AND STILLNESS
But often Holiday time brings increased activity, more opportunities to socialize, and a fair amount of anxiety as we try to balance natural rhythms with all these demands. I could write numerous posts on all the layers and patterns of family and personal expectations and disappointment likely to surface. Instead I'm going to stay with and share my intrigue and embrace of darkness and the stillness that the earth is trying to teach us. She has the greater wisdom, I believe.
So, it's not that we should hide from all the fun and all the really meaningful connections and traditions. I am as excited as can be to participate. I love this time. But, what if we reflected a little on what is really happening - the bigger picture, the earth's story, the sun's story... the story of Life and Light. Through all these stories is woven a mysterious energy. Across many systems of belief this energy is seen as the expression of Spirit or the Divine. And, stay with me here, isn't life (this mysterious energy) forever charged with LOVE? We witness this energy with awe as it creates a changing mantle of unique beauty throughout the seasons. This season is a season of LOVE in all its glory. LOVE of life, LOVE of light, LOVE of kin, the pure LOVE of the open, giving heart. More than ever we need to believe in LOVE when darkness descends and there is little evidence of life and growth.
At the heart of darkness, at the stillpoint... is LOVE. Always LOVE. It seems to erupt everywhere... joyfully, hopefully, drawing us closer together. And, just as in the richness and glory of Summer was held the portent of darkness, now at the heart of darkness is held the spark of germination, the promise of life. Soon, once again, little seeds and roots begin to quicken. We anticipate and celebrate this miracle.
HOLDING THE PROMISE OF LIGHT AND LOVE
Pause and ReflectIn the wheel of the year solstices are times of holding still. Solstice signals us to pause, as the sun seems to be doing, to honor, to understand, and to assimilate where we have been as individiuals, as families, and as communities.
Celebrate With Intention
In Winter's stillness, traditions allow us to find connection with each other, to share and celebrate, and to reflect on the end of a cycle.
Connect With Love
We give thanks to the natural world for all that sustains us. We extend feelings of family unity to kinship with all life with traditions that recognize natural cycles.
LOVE THAT FLOWS FREELY
For a little background on the images in this post see the post just below.