Sunday, December 17, 2017

sunday grace: solstice

december morning sun in the kitchen on gypsy hill

the winter solstice arrives this week on december 21st (for those of us in the northern hemisphere).  it is one of my favorite times of year, this point in time when we teeter on the edge of darkness and light.  from the latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), solstice is a moment to become still and reflect on the past, release that which no longer serves, and prepare for what is to come.  we see and hear the wisdom of nature:  darkness relieves us of our capacity for busyness, animals rest, snowfall brings its exquisite hush.

there are so many ways to recognize this tender transition.  here are a few of my favorites:

  • create a tiny solstice altar with candles (symbolizing light), photos of ancestors (symbolizing the past), and bits of spruce, pine, or juniper (evergreens symbolize life during winter).
  • reflect in your journal:  what were your accomplishments, lessons, and losses during the past year?  what are your best hopes for the year to come?
  • burn a solstice fire.  on a piece of paper, write down something you would like to let go.  put it in the fire and see it dissolve in spark and smoke.
  • join a community celebration.  we will be gathering with our local waldorf cooperative at a community potluck, solstice spiral, and bonfire where the children will be reading their poetry.
  • no matter the weather, place your bare feet on the ground outside at night.  simultaneously sense the solid support of the earth and vast unseen possibility of the dark sky.

happy solstice friends.  i wish you just enough darkness to see the stars and perfect light to illuminate your beautiful life.