Winter Solstice, Earth turns again towards the sun

Midnight of the Year

I like to say that I am “solar powered.” 

The sun and what it provides—heat, light, energy—recharges my battery. Summer makes me feel alive, brimming with vitality and pep.  

The sun and what it provides—heat, light, energy—recharges my battery. Summer makes me feel alive, brimming with vitality and pep.  

It is logical, then, that I find winter difficult, when it is dark upon waking and nighttime begins right after lunch. (Not technically accurate, but that’s the emotional truth! 😉) 

It’s so dark, I plaintively cry. I miss the sun!

As with so many things, it’s not either/or. It’s both/and. Ya don’t get one without the other. It can be hard to feel gratitude if we have not known longing. It may be difficult to celebrate abundance if we have not known scarcity. 

To know light we must also know darkness.

Photo of cloudy moon with quote from Margaret Atwood's Solstice Poem.
In this dark space of the year, the earth turns again toward the sun, or we would like to hope so. Margaret Atwood

Railing against the dark is futile. So we can invite it in. Embrace it. Offer it a cup of tea (metaphorically) and while you’re at it, pour one for yourself. (See “Try It!” below.)

Only by moving through days of darkness can we ultimately move towards the light.

In our world and in ourselves.

Happy Solstice y’all.

*Credit for the title goes to John Donne from his poem “A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day.” And for my fellow poetry nerds, the Margaret Atwood “Solstice Poem” quoted in the picture can be found in Selected Poems II. FWIW, the internet widely mis-titles another one of her brilliant poems, “Shapechangers in Winter” as “Solstice Poem.”

Try it!

Solstice Ritual

Honor the pivot point of the year and welcome the return of the light. I know that’s pretty high on the “woo scale” but if you’re game, here are some suggestions:

  • Make a cup of tea and be mindful from start to finish. Notice the steam as it is first poured. Notice the change in temperature. Notice the feeling of the warm mug in your hand. Notice time passing.
  • Light candles and watch the glow of the flames flicker in silence.
  • Go outside after sunset and try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.
(other) Smart People – Singalong!

“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since its been here
Here comes the sun (do, do, do, do)
Here comes the sun and I say
It’s all right.” – George Harrison, Here Comes the Sun

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Try it!

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