Monday, December 21, 2009

Yule: Winter Solstice December 21st

I particularly love the winter solstice...really gives me a feeling of being grounded. I have my own traditions surrounding this day and I celebrate with joy and hope.
I set aside some time to do something creative. I light many candles. I drink some mulled wine. I lay in my bed and gaze at the sun as it sets in the west. I give thanks for its light and warmth.
That sunlight is some powerful stuff!
Consider the title of an old Sting album, "Nothing Like the Sun". Truer words may not ever have been written.
My solo celebrations actually keep me connected to the flow of life, my ancestral chain and the earth. They are a reason for me to consciously mark time and set intentions.
So, on this, the longest night of the year, I want to wish each and every one of you peace, contentment and the hope that comes with knowing that there is light after the dark.
While winter seems to have been anxious to descend on us this year (all that snow!), winter will  surely give way to spring. Until that glorious burst, I find it is a good practice to welcome stillness in winter. Meditation. Slowing down. Savoring. Hibernating. Taking care of myself and all the creatures that depend on me.
All living things need a period of rest!
Though I no longer live in an area blanketed by snowfall, I love the luxury of being able to cocoon. Winter and snow days are perfect for that....and it comes at a befitting time of the Roman calendar year. Reflection on the past year as we look forward to the next year.
I am so grateful and privileged to be able to write this to you this day.
I read an article on the marriage of scent and memory today. I was thinking about the smells of winter. Some cheering, some desolate, some nostalgic.
What smells do you associate with winter?
Memory is a trickster. Be careful! Be wary of the truth of that is a topic for another day.

Until that day, I will leave you with an image of the famous painting by Salvador Dali, "The Persistence of Memory" (1931). I was never a huge Dali fan, but his iconography and imagery are endlessly fascinating to dissect.
This winter, be aware of your bright place in the universe. Take time to care for yourself and others. Pull inwards. Conserve your energies.
Spring is just around the corner.

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