Wednesday, 21 December 2011
On Solstice Eve
The winter solstice is tomorrow. Explaining this to my daughters at the breakfast table was rather tricky, the bit about the earth tilting on its axis is not something easy for two little ones to understand. I did explain to them though that it is the return of the light. Lighter mornings, lighter evenings and with it the eventual return of the warmth. This is indeed something to celebrate and to acknowledge, it would have been even more so in years gone by, before electric light and central heating. Such things we take for granted these days. I did think about years gone by last night when my daughters, who were particularly tired after a very early start that morning, snuggled up in bed with me after their bath and we lit candles and read a story each. The warmth and beauty of the candlelight was so nourishing and peaceful and I thought about how people in the past must have had this every night. This calmness, no harsh electric light, no blaring TV, just the peaceful flicker of the flame.
Again the natural world is completely oblivious to stories of financial doom or a return to a Great Depression, the natural world just continues in its seasonal cycle. I find such reassurance in the fact that winter is definitely here, the light will start to return tomorrow and our hemisphere will start to feel the warmth on its face once more. There is comfort to be found in the natural world if we look for it.
For now, as I sit here in the dark, with a list of things I would like to achieve today swirling around in my head, it feels peaceful. The darkness of the early morning, the lights of our Christmas tree, the sun starting to rise and light up the sky, such beautiful things to be acknowledged because I have taken a minute do so. Try it, turn off the lights, morning or night, wander around the house, light a few candles, listen to the silence all around you. It will seep in to your soul and nourish you like a good tonic. Enjoy the darkness while its here and then we can look forward to the return of the light tomorrow.