Turning from the Darkness toward the Light
December 21, Solstice, mark the turning of the earth on its axis, the official beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere, the official beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the turning of the dark toward the light as the days get incrementally longer, 2+ minutes per day toward the next solstice in June.
Winter solstice is close enough to the new year on the western calendar to be heralded as a time of introspection and deep reflection as the seasons turn. Reflecting on the old year passing, with all of its complexity and heartache. Revisioning the possibilities, perhaps expanded horizons, of the new year unfolding. The vaccine for the coronavirus is about to be distributed; we will have a more intelligent and compassionate presidential administration coming in the United States.
Here are two poems to anchor our contemplation at solstice: This Is the Time to Be Slow by the beloved Celtic poet John O’Donohue and Candles for Solstice by yours truly.
This Is The Time To Be Slow
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
– John O’Donohue
Candles for Solstice
May you celebrate and share with others…
Candles of light in the darkness,
Candles of grace in the suffering,
Candles of joy despite all sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tumultuous days,
Candles of forgiveness for all the difficulties,
Candles of love to embrace all that is Life,
Candles that will burn all the year long.
– Linda Graham based on Howard Thurman