It’s no secret, the change of seasons influences us all profoundly. No matter how hard we work to maintain a constant environment with regulated temperatures, a ready light source and an abundant variety of food to suit every taste, stepping outside our chosen hives of activity we confront the day before us.
The Winter Solstice arrives December 21 at 11:28 am. EST. Take a breath. Here in New England the air is crisp and dry. The sun has a different slant. The colors have begun leeching from the landscape, leaving only the evergreens. A flurry has left behind a tidal wash of snowy icing here and there.
There it is. Winter is here. This is the Shortest Day. The time for Revelling is at its peak!
Change, I’ve often written, is our only constant. Take comfort in this one sure thing. Some may despair while others celebrate. We cope and hope and look to the new day. May you praise the moments of light, embrace the warmth in the presence of caring individuals, feel all the way to your bones the music of the season and cherish the moments of stillness in the aftermath.
When the festivities fade let the curtain close, take the time to replenish your energies and gather the fuel to grow and renew your forward motion.
Do No Harm
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” Voltaire
Compassion and kindness are not soft, they are strengths. We need them in our personal lives and in community. We need to show ourselves that same compassion. The internal critic can be a harsh taskmaster and deflecting it onto others to avoid its judgement does not relieve the pressure, it only tarnishes us further.
“I am a beginner on the path” Ram Dass
After the big moments are ended, avoid the letdown by looking for the small moments. Cherish with gratitude the ordinary. We’re granted the reliability of a perpetually turning Planet Earth. There is a reason to celebrate this quiet victory: find it and savor it.
Give the Gift of Time
“Hope springs eternal” Alexander Pope
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac our winter will be very very cold but without much snow. We shall find out in due course. I may have to declare a few personal “snow days” because I cherish the enforced time of stopping in winter. To be fallow is not idleness. We all need time to let the noise pass through us and allow deep knowledge to settle. Experience the simple beauty of nature to emerge refreshed and inspired.
Do something good for someone. Make it a practice for the New Year.
Happy Solstice, Happy Holidays to all.
With Love and Hope,
All Photos by Claire Mauro
P.S. May you experience a true Jolabokaflod – a Book Flood of reading to light the winter darkness.