Winter Solstice is upon us this evening. Where I live, in Corvallis Oregon, the winter solstice occurs at 8:19 PM today, December 21, 2019. This longest night of the year will last over 15 hours. Unlike so many people who curse the darkness and crave the light, I embrace the darkness of this time of year and give thanks for the respite it brings me.
It brings me the gift of slowing down. As rain comes, the constant patter of sound on the skylight brings a type of meditative consistency. It helps me to fall asleep at night. On those rare occasions where we have snow, the quiet blanket that covers everything is awe-inspiring. Because I no longer see easily at night I mostly choose to stay in, unless my husband is playing his guitar somewhere in town. We spend more time talking, cuddling, and in both solo and shared contemplation of how our life has played out during the year.
The darkness reminds me it is time to reflect on the past and let it go, to make plans for the future and, during these final days of darkness to make an effort to simply be present. I truly value this time of reflection as it not only welcomes me but demands soul-searching and questioning. The thing about darkness is I have to look very carefully to really see the details of anything. I can’t easily glance as I drive by and take it into my peripheral vision. It requires focus. When I do focus I can only take in one thing in the darkness because I have to allow that thing to absorb all the possible light. It is almost as if I’m waiting for a star to spotlight that one detail I’ve never noticed before.
Over the past month, as the darkness has seemed ever present, I’ve had the opportunity to examine many things in detail that I hadn’t taken the time during the year to do as I lurched from one day to the next. Those details of illuminated some major changes I need in my day-to-day life. I mentioned the biggest change in my last newsletter to my fans. That is returning to a full time job. The weeks leading up to tonight have opened some doors for that. I’ve sent out resumes, had one promising interview, and I hope a second one will bring an offer. I will continue to write. After all, I have always been a storyteller and with three series still going strong, I can’t let them fade into oblivion. But the new stories will take a bit longer as a learn again to fit writing into a life of other work.
I am ready for change. I’ve used the darkness well and I am ready to welcome the growing light back into the world. I love how the light begins to arrive very slowly at first–a mere few seconds of change from tonight to tomorrow night. It is as if the earth knows we need that slow chart to come into our own acceptance and practice of the changes we’ve chosen. Then, once I’ve fully embraced change it seems the earth responds too. Or is it that I am only able to notice it once those first tentative steps into the new year become confident strides. I look forward to the many opportunities change will bring in 2020 and I hope that I am able to be one small part of making a difference. I can definitely identify with the Camus quote in the heading picture.
Solstice Blessings to all my readers. May you find your own invincible summer.
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