I’ve been fully submerged in teaching, writing, and researching new work opportunities. It is true that I have been looking for a long while. As much as I am ready to return to work, I did not radically dismantle my life last year so I could jump back into a similar situation of overwhelm and undervalue. All too keenly aware of a slower time table than I wanted for my next transition, my intention and specificity will remain. Late December always brings me especially reflective mind wanderings. As I write, I look out the window of my office to the waning, foggy, light. Tonight is the Winter Solstice.
Winter is coming. The long night. No, really. Tonight, the longest night of our year will be here. The northern axis will begin shifting toward the sun when we wake in the morning. Our days will slowly begin to get longer.
Tonight is an especially beautiful time for personal reflection and looking inward.
There’s something about the Winter Solstice that pulls to me. This darkest day and longest night of the year is a personal invitation to look into yourself and see what you want to set right, straight, and out for the days, and year, ahead.
Today has been particularly ponder-filled, for me. Tomorrow marks one week to a milestone birthday. I’ve been taking personal inventory rather heavily this year. In my social solitude, there has been much time for personal thought.
I think of winter as a season of regeneration of energy. Location helps. Situated within a cold state, with a winter storm on the horizon promising sub zero temperatures, I watch birds and squirrels busy themselves among bare branches of trees. I’m witness to activity I don’t see in Spring, Summer, and the better part of Fall. The physical transformation is visible.
A steady reminder of my own opportunity to turn inward, reflect, redraw energy, and prepare for cyclical regeneration.
Tonight, give yourself some quiet space.
Even if you only have a moment or two, give that much to yourself. What calls to you, and what will you call out to? In a season so often aligned with an over abundance of everything, make a slight break in the chaos. This night is about our Earth’s balance. And it is good enough for your balance, too.
Take a cue from nature. Rabbits and bears snuggle in their burrows. Frogs and lizards bury themselves in mud. They slow their metabolism to a crawl. Trees and plants have shed their leaves. For them, there is no one to impress. They receive the shifting season as they need – with rest.
Where there is darkness, there is light.
On this darkest night, consider your light.
Turn of the back-lit phone. Light a candle. The warm flicker of that flame has the capacity to help you center and be the center of your attention tonight than anything in your phone, tablet, or computer.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn sank down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I hope you have a happy Winter Solstice and coziest start to your new season!