I’m writing this to the soundtrack of howling wind shaking in the chimney, sounds cliched yes, but I have a fire blazing and we are expecting snow tomorrow and winter solstice is proving to be a cold one. On Solstice, the planet shifts and depending where you are you’ll begin to either move towards the light or away from it. I’ll begin to move towards it, only it seems odd because its dark and cold and is really only the beginning of winter. And yet every day will become a little bit longer. And you would think I wouldn’t notice until closer to spring or summer, when the twilight here stretches for hours. But I do, I noticed straight away last year. Right after winter solstice, while we moved deeper into winter, the days began to lighten. This is how nature holds us.
Two years ago I didn’t really understand seasons. Sure I knew of them from white christmas cards and other such things, but this city girl from the Southern Hemisphere knew nothing really of seasons. Sure we have seasons in Sydney, we have Jacaranda season followed by mango season (which coincides with Christmas), and tomatoes are always in season. The heat shifts slightly and we complain about the cold without really knowing what it is. The tall buildings hide the moon and we can’t track where the sun rises in summer and falls in winter.
Then I moved to a place where nature resides. I watch the sun rise over the mountain, I see her move across from one mountain to the other, I watch her tire in winter, only putting a half effort. I see her languid in summer, too golden to sleep. I understand daffodils, what joyous heralders of spring’s sweet promises they are, going first to wake the sleeping plants, plants that I assumed were dead when we first arrived because I had not seen that yearly cycle that seems to echo so much. I see the scandalous show of autumn when the trees put on their best for one last wild party before they turn in to hibernate. I see their boughs bowed low with the weight of the white magic which dances down from the heavens so lightly yet sits so heavily. And all this repeats, day to night to day, autumn to winter to spring and round and round. Time no longer seems so linear, time spirals in this cyclic dance.
So today while many of my friends are soaking up delicious rays, dancing in the summer warmth and biting into such ripeness, I am watching winter come as the snow line descends down the mountain, closer and closer. Here I sit snuggled, thinking of the tentative balance that we are held in by the polar sides of this gorgeous planet; Winter Solstice the flip side of the same planet where Summer Solstice is also being celebrated and we held in balance through these cycles rhythmically moving us between these cycles, daily, yearly, ‘lifely’. And in these cycles we find such comfort and restoration, with time for all, a time to rest, a time to dream, a time to dance, a time to grow and a time to gather.
So whether you are dancing or dreaming, whether you are beginning to move towards the light or away from the light, think on this duality. Even in that darkest of nights, is held the promise of light as at that darkest moment, the darkest of all, we begin the journey back towards the light. And in the longest of days is the promise of being in the moment, of fulfilment. Hands woven tightly together, light and dark, summer and winter, southern and northern, rest and wake, eternally entwined, we enjoy the dance of balance.
Galia is offering a free sacred journaling ritual to celebrate solstice over at her digs: http://www.galiaalena.blogspot.co.nz/p/sacred-vessel.html