Winter Solstice, 2018

Today gives us sunshine, here in my particular piece of the Northern Hemisphere, and a reprieve from howling winds and slashing rain. How appropriate, on this day to mark the return of the light. The skies have been dark and lowering, and have seemed to hem us in to smaller space – and now, viscerally we unfurl and stretch and luxuriate, however briefly. 

 

Yes, this day marks the first day of winter, my imaginary friend, and the longest night of the year; but it also marks the fact that the days grow ever longer from this point to the summer solstice. I am reminded of Janus, that Roman god of portals and doorways, the god who looks forward and backward at the same time. Even as we enter the northern winter, and nature around us seems at a standstill, underground the work of preparing for the vibrant growth of spring carries on …roots burrowing deep into soil to build a strong framework, this burrowing, hibernating, and seeming rest simple a less visible energy. As Janus reminds us, to move forward one must remain firmly rooted, whether to build anew or to make radical change. 

 

The ancients, it seems had a way of acknowledging the solstices, the equinoxes, the cross-quarter days as portals of movement around the wheel of the year – the seasons of the year as circle, the years as circles that spiral, the spiral itself a potent symbol of ever-upward movement that rests upon what went before. 

 

‘Tis a symbol that resonates powerfully for me. May you find light and cheer in this festive season, and discover the wonder and beauty in nature’s quietness. Blessings of the solstice. 

 

Pincer Tree, photographed by John Lake.

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6 comments on “Winter Solstice, 2018

  1. Bela Johnson says:

    What an exquisite offering, VL. Well paired with an extraordinary photo! Enjoy the impending spring! I well remember how long the waiting was. Aloha and Happy New Year!🎊🎆🎈 🥳❤️

    Like

    • How very kind of you, Bela. While the howling winds often have me longing for spring, still I love this time of year…a time to go inward to reflect and to nurture that other seasons never seem to have time for. The very best of the season to you and yours, and my heartfelt thanks for always dropping a line or two to encourage me ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson says:

        Exactly. The kind of physical isolation I experienced for 34 years of my life in the Maine woods has served me well, and continues to do so. I do miss it, but my body just couldn’t handle the cold anymore.

        Peace and love to you, VL. Encouragement is easy – your writing is always superb. Aloha ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tammy Jackson Nyman says:

    Wonderfully written as always!! Such vivid pictures appear in my mind when I read your words!!

    Like

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