In the early times when Christianity and Buddhism were extending their influence and beliefs, its devotees intentionally “co-opted” the ancient nature-based and-or goddess-inspired rites for their own celebrations, knowing they were tapping into an essential energy of people, place, time and spirit. I’ve become more attuned to the essence and essential of this time of year – the power of darkness and the return of the light – particularly in the northern hemisphere where I live.
So it is that when we’re not travelling to Niagara to share Christmas with our families, I’ve established a tradition of celebrating Winter Solstice with a gathering of women friends. It has become increasingly important, essential really, that I give tribute to one of the earliest of humankind’s ritual celebrations, the honouring of the darkness and its gifts, and the re-birth of the “sun.” Eating and drinking together with candlelight and evergreen, exchanging soulful stories of family, work and community, we bring and depart with our gifts of the heart.
On this Winter Solstice Eve, a blessing sent, now shared with you. May you know…
- a comforting darkness in which to nurture the seeds of future possibilities and potentialities,
- solitude and rest to renew and restore your body, mind, heart and soul,
- joy shared with family and friends,
- simple pleasures that bring you a good deep belly laugh, and
- the promise of the light’s return.
And from a favourite poet, David Whyte’s “Sweet Darkness”:
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.