Solstice Serenade

The darkness is upon us. We’re nearing the longest night of the year and the time of the Winter Solstice.

I was reading recently that the word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”. At the time of the winter solstice the Sun’s path has reached it’s southern most position in the sky. And the next day the sun will begin to move northward. Because the change in position is so slight for the few days before and also the few days after the Solstice, the Sun’s path seems to stand still.

Stand still.

Linger in the darkness to discover its gifts.

Find a quiet place to sit near a soft light or a candle. John O’Donohue has written a beautiful poem about darkness.

I’ll read the words aloud to you.

For Courage

When the light around you lessens
And your thoughts darken until
Your body feels fear turn
Cold as a stone inside
When you find yourself bereft
Of any belief in yourself
And all you unknowingly
Leaned on has fallen
When one voice commands
Your whole heart,
And it is raven dark,
Steady yourself and see
That is is your own thinking
That darkens your world
Search and you will find
A diamond-thought of light,
Know that you are not alone
And that this darkness has purpose
Gradually it will school your eyes
To find the one gift your life requires
Hidden within this night-corner.
Invoke the learning
Of every suffering
You have suffered.
Close your eyes
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.
A new confidence will come alive
To urge you towards higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!

By John O’Donohue

There’s a sweet song called “Dark of Winter” that’s been playing in my head. I love the words but it’s the tune that brings them to life.

I’ve recorded it here for you.

Happy Solstice!

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