Celebrating the Winter Solstice
The winter solstice marks the beginning of winter, the longest night of the year. The pagans, drawing their wisdom from the natural world, celebrate it as a time for settling in, for introspection and rest. This year more than any in recent memory I am drawn to this tradition. It feels right. So, I am observing this as my winter holiday this year, adopting my own rituals in celebration.
I begin even before the sun rises, in quiet introspection, taking stock of what has come and gone this year, sending it all respectfully into the past as I let it go. Like the trees shedding their leaves, I leave behind all that burdens me - the hardships, the conflicts and the misfortune. I forgive any indiscretion, unintentional hurt feelings and offer sincere apologies to any I have offended, so I can move on into a new season unencumbered.
I write, taking advantage of the long, dark morning to bring forth ideas and inspirations about life as I recognize that I am approaching the winter of my life. There are changes occurring around me and within me, and I need time to sort through them one by one and decide how to adapt.
I will spend the day putting my house in order, shedding unnecessary belongings, passing them on to those who may need them. I will spend time clearing out clutter so my home is comfortable and inviting.
I will cook to satisfy the need for internal comfort. The cold and grey day begs for soup simmering on the stove, filling the house with its aroma.
I will spend time with close friends in intimate conversation filling my heart with memories.
Finally, as the longest night of year takes the world once again in its silent embrace, I will light candles, taking a moment to hold those I love in my thoughts and feel grateful for the life that has become mine. And then, I will settle in for a long, peaceful rest.