Celebrating the Winter Solstice

Of all seasons, Winter poses the greatest challenges. Many of us don’t like the continual days deprived of light and months filled with colder temperatures; most struggle with the bleakness of land and the emptiness of the trees. Our spirits tire of the endless gray skies and we long for warmth and color. And as a result, we’ve trained ourselves to fill our lives with “busyness” to avoid having to deal with Winter.

We tend to rush from Autumn to Spring, to avoid the long dark days that winter brings, yet winter darkness has a positive side to it. As we celebrate the Winter Solstice, we exult in the thought that light and warmth will soon be filling more and more of each new day. As we gather to celebrate the turn of the Wheel from Winter to Spring, we are invited to recognize and honor the beauty in the often maligned season of winter. Let’s be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let’s be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let’s also be encouraged as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.

The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. Soon we will welcome the return of the sun and the coming of Spring. As we do so, let’s remember and embrace the positive, enriching aspects of winter’s darkness. Allow yourself to sit in silence in the darkness of this space. Let this space be a safe place of creative gestation for you.

In the Winter, give thanks for the darkness, which is the yin to the yang of light. We’ll remember how soothing darkness is to the weary, how the repose of the darkness provides relief from activity and restores the soul. Make a special effort to greet darkness and explore some of the feelings that arise in you when you think about darkness.

As light turns to dark we take this time, in the midst of a hectic world, to stop, to listen and to be. To honor Mother Nature and to renew our connection with the universe.

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