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  • Writer's pictureFran Braga Meininger

The Winter Solstice and the Coming of the Light

The morning of the winter solstice. I sit facing east watching, waiting, as the sky turns a slate blue in anticipation of the dawn. The hawk arrives as if she understands the significance of the day and wishes to share it with me. I listen intently as she soars above, circling, her call piercing the silence as the light comes up at her command.


It is the day, as tradition dictates, when I sit with nature and its rhythmic cycles, to observe with optimism the return of the light, the warm sun and longer days. A time to renew my dedication to my well-being, health and growth, and to remind myself of my place within the natural world.


It is the season to plan and prepare, to set my intentions for what comes next and to awaken, like the trees and plants around me, all which has lain dormant through the long, cold night, among the wild world, and within me.


I’ve made peace with the darkness, spent time in quiet retrospection, wrapped in a warm shawl against the chill and held my spirit as steady as I could, knowing soon the world would be bright and cheerful once again.


This year, I am more aware of the rhythm of my own life and the reoccurring interruptions to its peace, of bad news, concerns and worry for others and the welling up of grief at the loss of precious friends, long held relationships, security, power and strength.


I understand better now, than ever before, it is time, it is the season, and the cycle of my own existence when letting go and accepting change beyond my control must become not only a lesson, but a practice. It must be part of my life and part of my consciousness. I must prepare myself to endure it, in a way that does not squander the precious moments I have still ahead.


I must learn to acknowledge what is and allow it to be, resisting the struggle to change what I find difficult, or to hold tightly what I fear letting go. I must learn to sit quietly with each turn of events, woeful and intrusive news and to hold it as true and right - looking forward to the coming of the light, faithful that it will come again.

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