Solstice — Light in the darkness

Hey there, Sun, I’ve been thinking about you. Especially these last three weeks leading up to the Solstice and Chanukah. Seems like the waning light’s shocked you into apparently standing still last night.

A little note: Jewish holidays move around the western calendar. This year is unusual, timing-wise, with Chanukah and Solstice arriving together. When you read Solstice below, please understand I’m short-handing this moment — this turn of the Wheel — through both these metaphors.

You’ve probably heard that the word Solstice comes from the Latin for Sun standing still.

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine how powerful the increasing darkness felt to the ancestors, and how that powerful stillness evolved and birthed the rituals we celebrate today. Every candle and light you shine invokes and celebrates the return of the light.

Let your light shine.

I believe the world could use a lot more shining light — just sayin’ — today at Solstice and every day.

I celebrate with you. Light your candles. Plug in your lights. Celebrate the incremental increased daylight, and watch for the new life and softening earth even in the depths of winter.

For today, I thought I’d share a poem or three that light me up in the darkness at Solstice time.

Winter Solstice Chant 

By Annie Finch

Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.
Solstice — Sun (apparently) standing still

The Feast of Lights

By Emma Lazarus

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Menorah — invoking and inviting light at Solstice

To Her Spirit At Winter Solstice

By Ann Stanford

Now the year ends darkly.
The sun drifts in the south.
Will it ever return?

And you force me in the cold to gather red berries
Up early in mist, breaking the branches -
The musky smell of the toyon -
Will this be enough?

Look down, spirit, from your height of fire,
Look from the skiff crossing the black river.
Call back the sun that lingers.

Shall I bring only remembering
Who cannot bring flowers? for the cold
Grows deep and dark where you linger.

And the ship of fire goes farther
Toward some chill cape of waves and darkness.
Hold fast in the rough riding.

o blown spirit, do not draw me
To those chill tides
Where I too cast my offerings
In darkness.
Solstice sunrise at Newgrange

I’d love to know what you think about the Solstice poems; comments are lovely. May you bask in the glow of your inner light as the Sun’s light begins to return to us in this hemisphere.

Like reading about the Solstice and seasons?

Here and here are a couple of previous Solstice posts, in case you’d like to read more. Blessed be.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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  1. Absolutely beautiful. All of the ones you shared today <3 absolutely beautiful way to wake up into this newly-Winter morning <3

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