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Winter Solstice


As we approach the longest night of the year, my thoughts begin to turn toward the light. Each morning I sit in my favorite chair with the sun coming in the window over my shoulder. The sun, which shines so relentlessly here in California, splashes itself all over the trees, grass, my living room wall. It’s a good way to live – to give of your essence. Not to think, to decide, to measure who should get how much. The sun doesn’t hoard its own treasure. It gives light without a repayment plan. While I sometimes mete out my own light, in small sips – as if there was a limited supply of kindness and I must carefully save and invest it. Sun’s nature is to shine and not, as night falls, regret anything. As the days will begin to lengthen soon, it’s a good model to carry into the light.


At this time of year, I also like to ask myself, what is it of the darkness that I want to hold onto, to treasure. There is something very magical about this dark time of year – the songs of the stars, the silence, the magic of candlelight. I like the interiority of darkness and the mystery it holds. It asks us to trust the unknown. Darkness is a black silk dress, a black opal, a folded wing. I want to welcome what can’t be seen or held.


So, in this season of solstice, we might ask ourselves both what is it that we treasure and want to hold onto from the dark as we walk towards the light. And, what are the gifts of light that we might look forward to carrying as well.


I recently learned of a poetic form called a “nonette”. It is a nine-line poem with the first line having 9 syllables, the next line has 8, etc. down to the last line which has just one syllable. I suggest you try doing one yourself. The form helps to create the poem. Here’s my attempt about solstice!


Solstice marks the turning toward the light

But first let us treasure darkness.

Empty ourselves into it.

Souls hunger for mystery.

Hunger for quiet.

Un-nameable,

Emptiness,

Holy

Dark.

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