the darkest day

Sometime tonight, just before tomorrow arrives, the sun will appear to stop in its tracks, and we in the northern hemisphere will experience the darkest, bleakest hours of winter before the earth begins to slowly turn again towards the light and the sun starts its journey southwards.

Solstice means ‘stand still’ and this is exactly what I feel compelled to do at this time of year: to be quiet and still, and think about all that has happened in the six months since the warmth and light of the summer solstice, and about all that might happen before we reach that time again next year.

For me, this time of thinking and being still has much more resonance than the fizz and pop of New Year’s Eve, which seems more like a sparkling finale to the Christmas festivities and a launch pad for the fresh new start which, by then, we all crave.

In these few days of calm, I find myself reflecting on all I have done and seen and felt since the summer. It has been a very mixed time for me this year and there has been a lot of worry and distraction. Creativity and positive energy has been scarce.

But just as the passing of the seasons brings continual renewal, there is the chance to stop and change direction, and this is my hope and intent for the next turn of the wheel. I have read much this year about caring for oneself, loving oneself, being kind to oneself. What if I set out to have as much fun as possible, to enjoy myself? What if I shed the skin of anxiety and worry, the sense of being under judgement, of needing to earn rest and peace and happiness? What if I chose to play more?

I expect lots of you – if you have managed to read this far – are rolling your eyes at this. It probably seems obvious. But I think freedom can be a difficult concept to accept. The prison gate is open, but we are afraid to leave.

Tonight and tomorrow I will light up the house with as many candles and fairy lights as we can find, the fire will burn brightly and we will have a few drinks to bring warmth and light to our bones. Lightness and brightness to lead us out of the darkness and into life.

15 comments:

Karen L R said...

we celebrate the solstice at our house, too. i find more resonance with the traveling sun than i do with the christmas story...(some might call me a heretic or pagan). we honor the many and varied mid winter celebrations around the world.

finding comfort in light and renewal and hope in the midst of the darkest days of winter seems very human and natural to me. our house will be filled with candlelight, good cheer and merriment tonight!

sending you best wishes for a joyous celebration.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Lovely post! I love it when we reach the winter solstice, so much hope and light ahead of us!
Vivienne x

marigold jam said...

Not rollling my eyes as you have said exactly what I think and feel. I hope that you will indeed find a way to enjoy, have fun and be less self critical too in the coming months. I am also going to celebrate the shortest day and turn my thoughts to the coming lighter times. Hope your Christmas will be happy and peaceful and all good wishes for the new season - why wait till the new year!

Karen said...

Today I have put candles all around the house so that we can light it up tonight - I love the solstice because with the dark comes the light and the promise of the spring. There was no eye rolling here!

Toffeeapple said...

No eye rolling here either. This is my favourite part of the year, when it turns again to renewal and light.

Wishing you all that you wish to others.

Poshyarns said...

I'm not rolling my eyes, it's a beautiful post and reminder of the gentle changing of the days.

Heloise said...

I always enjoy reading your posts. I am glad that the days will slowly draw out from tomorrow.
Have a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Susan Heather said...

I, also, always enjoy your posts. While you are at the shortest day we are at the longest and will gradually be heading for winter.

Forecast for Christmas day is sunny.

driftwood said...

turning towards the light. perfect x

Gina said...

I'm not rolling my eyes either. A beautiful post and I wish you happiness and the freedom to play as the days get lighter.

sue said...

Lovely post, and I wish you the strength to find the time to play and have more fun,live in the moment worries can't find you so easily there.

kkkkaty said...

How lovely are the still photos..I always am aware of the stillness of this day, without fail.

Annie said...

I'm with you all the way. Left to myself I would celebrate the solstice and not make such a fuss of Christmas. Not so easy when one's family has high expectations of all that Christmas should be.

Annie said...

May whatever you wish for as the year turns toward the light, and in the days and weeks ahead, come your way. Season's greetings x

Yvonne said...

Not rolling eyes either. Thank you for a lovely post.