The word solstice comes to us originally from Latin and translates as stopped (or stationary) sun, because to humans watching the bright star that powers life here, it seemed that twice a year at the onset of astronomical winter and summer, our star ceased its travels across the sky, pausing as if to collect itself before continuing its annual journey. Following Old Sol’s example seems a wise course to me, and so at these times of stillness, I also try to pause and collect myself.
As I review my time on this planet to date, I recall moments of great personal hardship as well as times of profound joy. For me, the thread that runs through all of it is the Green World. I cannot remember a time when I lost that connection, and I attribute that tie to any semblance of sanity I retain.
As Sol pauses today to welcome Winter and Summer to their respective earthly hemispheres, I will make my Winter Wish, the same prayer I’ve made for decades. I pray that human hearts everywhere open themselves more fully to Light’s return, welcoming with love every soul they encounter, be it human, fauna, or flora.
I invite you, my readers, to still yourselves today, at least long enough to visualize your Winter Wish. Dream big, my friends; these visions will power our future.
My offering to you this Winter Solstice is a small poem that fell out of my fingers when I prepared this post.
Growing Toward Light
As suffering surrounds us,
as isolation limits us to tenuous electronic connections,
it is easy to believe that Darkness is winning.
I promise you, it is not.
Darkness is not the enemy,
merely the other side of Light.
the dance between them powers everything.
Step outside of yourself.
Walk barefoot on cold ground,
inhale pine-scented, rain-chilled air.
Greet the birds by name.
Caress tight-coiled buds of trees
deep in winter meditation.
Feel the centering stillness,
the slowed rhythms of life.
All dwell in Winter’s Darkness
while growing toward Spring’s Light.