Dec 31, 2008
An Evocation of the Winter Solstice:
A few days ago, on the 21st of December, we had the Winter Solstice. The shortest day, the longest night of the year and then the days begin to get longer. For time immemorial, this has brought hope to mankind, the promise of renewal, the promise of plenty.
Winter is quiet. Lying hushed under the snow, the softest and most silent of all forces of nature, many living things sleep. One reason we celebrate with the evergreen tree is that, like us, the evergreen tree doesn't sleep. The evergreen tree abides. While the maple and the bear sleep out the cold, the evergreen watches and so do we. Together we see that the days are short and darkness falls - and we know when the cycle turns. Perhaps humans alone among the Earths's living things recognize the deep life sustaining profundity of this turning.
So we adorn the branches of the evergreen and we dance and we sing. We dance and sing and embrace our loved ones and we look forward to the Spring and the regrowth it will bring us. In the quiet cold is the promise of regrowth.
The winter is beautiful and this we also celebrate. Winter is clean. Winter is our time of rest. Spring is a time of teeming energy and winter allows the sleep needed for it to be possible.
Our planet is old and seems wise. Our planet is tuned and timed for our nurturing and we are grateful. We celebrate this as well. Unlike our ancient ancestors, we now know that Earth is not conscious, not an awareness. We are thankful for what we know that she is - our home and our support.
Over the centuries, the solstice has been seen and celebrated by people all over the world. The Winter Solstice is the basis for our winter holidays and festivals, as well as those of our forebears. Behind all of the beliefs of all people concerning this time of year, is the simple and lovely renewing cycle of our home.
As we wind down the holiday season and get ready for the New Year, perhaps we can all spare a thought for the Earth. She is doing as she has always done, as we need her to do. Let's all hold this sacred and protect her as best we can!
Happy New Year Everybody!