Light is Returning

In a few days, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere will experience the longest night (Monday, December 21st at 11:49 pm eastern time) and then once again our lives will begin to shift miraculously towards the light.

There are many moments during this season of early winter when I feel a deep connection to the natural world as I witness a flurry of snow or hear the call of a bird resonating through the crisp air.

The natural world helps me find a healthy perspective toward change.

Observing the beauty of a sunset, one of nature’s ceremonies, affirms the rightness of the shift from day to night.

The time of Solstice speaks to us metaphorically about embracing both light and dark in our lives. A candle shines more brightly against the backdrop of pure darkness and so too our lives feel fresh and new when we rebound from sickness or awaken after a time of deep grief.

Observing the Winter Solstice is a way to attune our selves to the cycles of nature and it’s a beautiful way to find calm in the midst of the frenzy that is often a part of the holiday season.

When I was in my twenties, I celebrated the Winter Solstice each year with a group of women friends. We would gather at one of our houses, turn out the lights and have a short ceremony that a few of us prepared and then celebrate afterwards with food and conversation.

I have a memory in my heart of my friends and I sitting on the floor in a circle with darkness all around us. There is a sense of quiet calm as we share honestly about what makes us stumble in life and what we are hoping for as the light returns. As each woman speaks, she lights a candle and the room begins to glow with the warmth of our illuminated faces.

I cherish the memory of that time. We cared for ourselves by stepping away from the hype of the holidays to create our own ritual of true connection.

I want that for you too.

This weekend as the darkness enfolds you, invite the energy of the Winter Solstice into your home and into your heart.

Turn out the lights and sit in the darkness. Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind. When you are ready, light a candle and notice the beauty of the flame.

Wait to see what arises, perhaps a sense of calm as you are reminded that you can step away from the fast pace of everyday life or an unexpected inspiration about what you really want for yourself and your loved ones during the holidays.

You might experience a feeling of gratitude for the natural world and the way it supports you in knowing that all is well.

Living a life infused with meaning is a choice you make.

Sit in the darkness and let the winter solstice remind you that the light is returning.

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