Winter Solstice 2020
It is the darkest season here in the northern hemisphere and the longest night of the year. And oh, what a year. We lurch towards the new year, barely allowing ourselves to hope it will slowly relax the stranglehold on our lives and our world. New political leadership here in the US and abroad, plus multiple vaccines likely to dilute Covid’s grip on all of us tempt us to hope and perhaps even to envision new days.
I do not intend to write yet another paragraph lamenting our woes, our weariness, and our dismay at our country. We all know what we are witnessing and living.
It is the Winter Solstice, a moment I have always loved and celebrated. I imagine it as the final compression of the entire year into a fist-sized ball, pregnant with concentrated energy and mysterious possibility. On Tuesday, December 22, it begins its own “big bang,” exploding into our stunted lives bearing gifts.
So, I ask each of you, and myself, which seed of new life will you and will I leap for? What is its trajectory, and how can we catch it as it hurtles into our world?
For this is the ancient myth, celebrated in every village, ever since we gathered around the first fire and sang our prayer to the darkness. This is the moment when the utter darkness gives birth to the fulsome light. We too have been compressed into the fearsome grip of pain and loss. We too have huddled around our dim fires. We barely remember our songs.
Our ancestors also knew that we must lean into our suffering and heart ache, to release our grief and its tears. This has been the deep cleanse of our denial and self-absorption, our pathetic lack of vision, and our emotional laziness. We must give voice to our lament and let our bodies speak their sorrow. Then we can heal. Then we can be restored to our open-hearted and generous selves. Then we can gather, share our dreams, and begin to build the communities we wish to live in.
Please choose one flash of light, one offering you will make this new year, to give form and shape to a new vision of how we might live well and kindly with each other. Bless the new year as she flings open the doors to new life, for each and all of us. Let your heart – fierce and gentle – lead you on your way. And may you be sturdy and well. With love, with love.
December 18, 2020