greetings dear ones,
today marks the winter solstice… the predictable shifting in this hemisphere from increasing darkness to increasing light. in recent days, when little in our collective experience has felt predictable, or very light, it seems especially welcome to remember the consistency of the solar rotations. no matter what happened through the night, the sun comes up in the morning. no matter what went down in the darkening days toward winter, the light begins to build again today.
there is little question that this past year has brought a sense of collective polarity and uncertainty. in my last letter, following the intensely unsettling election, i spoke to a call to move beyond the duality of love vs. hate and light vs. darkness, and instead begin to see this time as a call to be with the shadows, individually and collectively, recognizing all the ways in which they have blocked our light.
and then, a month later, tragedy landed in our own backyard, at the ghost ship warehouse, taking the lives of so many young and brilliant souls, including a friend of mine. many who were already feeling so vulnerable and heartbroken, have been ripped open in new, unimaginable ways. the days kept getting shorter… the darkness grew.
more than any other year, this season it’s been easier for me to resonate with nature’s expression of diminishing light, feeling like a fitting backdrop to all that we’ve been moving through. but now here we are, at the moment of solstice, and the light we feel from the sun will most certainly begin increasing, offering us an opportunity to reset and slowly begin our own expansion once more.
the word solstice is derived from the Latin word “solstitium” meaning “the standing still of the sun.” before we commit to a new year of resolutions and revolutions, the solstice is an invitation to pause and regroup. it is permission to slow down, rest, integrate and reorganize to life now after having come face to face with so many shadows. if we choose it to be, this could be a time to disengage from the habitual and constant checking in with the headlines, status posts, political commentary, attempts at perfection and panicked loops of thought. we could instead choose to let the last few days of this intense year be an invitation to pause in stillness for our own soul’s solstice… taking time to be at moments fully still and silent… walking in nature… playfully engaging with children and adults we love… taking hibernation style naps… practicing traditions that remind of us where we came from and where we are going… and so many other of the simple, beautiful things that we know nourish us.
each day, like our sun in this new season, we can bring a little more light in – focus on what we want more of, instead of trying to resist and fight against what we want less of… slowly growing and nurturing the new version of ourselves that is being called for in these times, as a beacon of light to others.
last week marked forty solar rotations on this earth for me. on my birthday morning, i walked a stone laid labyrinth that sits at land’s end, overlooking the ocean. going through it, my mind played the highlight, and lowlight, reel of these last forty years of my life. synchronistically, with my eyes mostly closed and no real strategy, it took the exact length of the maze (which is really no maze at all) to get from birth to present time. it reminded me of how much life moves us along labyrinth like – feeling furthest when we are closest… closest when we are furthest… a sense of being lost, even when it’s intrinsically impossible to be lost… no path leading to an end, but just another opening. in the middle of the labyrinth there was a open space to pause, reflect and turn around to head back in a new direction.
nature knows and reflects this journey for us in each season. as expressions of nature ourselves, may we practice surrendering to the mystery we are part of, moving step by step with whatever available light we have in this moment.
grateful to be on the path with you,