When we find ourselves in the dark.

Ashley Reservoir, Holyoke, MA

Winter Solstice has always been one of my favorite days. For one thing, it’s opposite my birthday (which is Summer Solstice).  And more importantly it’s the day we have the least amount of sunlight here in the northern hemisphere. So, we find ourselves in the dark. One more time – and so, we find ourselves in the dark. It’s easy to feel joyous when the summer sun warms our skin and nurtures our gardens. But when the warmth of the sun is but a faint memory – or is it? The sun itself is just as warm as it always is and that is a blessing. That is what allows us to enjoy winter. Winter exists and we continue to exist because the sun still shines, and warms the earth – even in the winter. So, what are you going to do with that opportunity?! Tomorrow, after a Solstice zoom dinner with some friends among as many candles as we can light, I intend to receive the long night of Solstice as a reminder to cultivate quiet reflection, to investigate the unexplored corners of my mind. It’s a natural time of year to go in – to go inside physically but also metaphorically. The quest to explore the corners of one’s mind is not always enjoyable, but I have found when I can face my own feelings of judgment and doubt there is always something I didn’t expect on the other side. Just as the sun sets on the shortest day of the year the days start getting longer again – Winter Solstice is unexpectedly a time of year when the beauty of impermanence becomes undeniable.

Winter 2013 – a time in my life when I truly learned what excavation was.

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