Winter Solstice

As fall turns toward winter and it gets dark earlier, I often feel more subdued, more quiet, more sad.

When I was younger, during this time of year, I counted the days down to solstice and longer days.  At same time, I dreaded winter. It was less the cold – although I get cold easily – and more my moods, which often felt deeper and darker.

I realize now that winter feels more internal to me. Sometimes it’s easy to think a desire to go inward as negative when I feel pushed to be out in the world.

In one of my favorite fantasy series, there’s a character who observes winter solstice – “The Longest Night” – by keeping vigil all night. While staying up is not in the cards for me, I appreciate the symbolic and ritual nature of this, the silent observation.
I appreciate solstice traditions that include celebrating the darkness and the return of the light, giving a sense of renewal.

cranes

How I celebrated this year: Today, my morning Nia class involved no verbal cues, and the focus was on internal peace and joy.  This afternoon,  I went an open space to watch Sandhill Cranes.  Tonight, I may light a candle. This Winter Solstice, I honor the darkness.  I honor the parts of me that crave silence and introspection.  I honor the parts of me that want to take flight.  I turn towards the light.

flying crane

 

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