Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

There's a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons - That oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes.
Emily Dickinson

Today is Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year due to the sun's tilt. Tomorrow the days will begin to have more daylight. I have always felt a strong pull and fascination to the winter and summer solstice dates. From the beginning of time we humans have celebrated these changing of the seasons of darkness and light with many celebrations. Christmas "Christ's Mass" is on December 25th which is Winter Solstice on the Roman or Julian calendar. Ancient Sweden's Winter Solstice is Lucia, Feast of St. Lucy. The Germanic "Yule" is celebrated with midwinter feasts and gift giving. The celebrations around the world are vast and abundant. Today I will light a candle and celebrate this new season in nature.
A Time for Change
I envision and prepare for new beginnings. As winter makes its arrival, I notice changes on display in nature--leaves gone from the trees, birds flying south and the temperature turning cold. As we leave one season of our lives and transition to another, we may feel a sense of loss. Yet just as the trees use winter to prepare internally for eventual springtime, I know that a quiet time of reflection allows me to envision and prepare for new beginnings in my life.
I cannot hold on to the life that was, but I can fully live the life that is, right now. By embracing the present moment, I find peace in the midst of change. I find hope remembering that in due time, in the right season, my own spring--my rebirth--will burst forth.

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