The Real Meaning of Winter SolsticeDec 21, 2021
For many people, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. As Canadians, we hide from the cold, dark days dreaming of a summer that now feels a thousand years away.
I am convinced that I was most definitely not designed to live here. My skin feels too thin, my hands and feet too far from the warmth of my circulating heart, and exposing my face to air any colder than -10 feels like it's going to fall right right off. And yes, I know that this sounds dramatic, but Nov-March has been a challenge for me my entire life.
But beyond the strong aversion to the cold, my mental health has always wobbled with the darkness. The short days and long, dark nights have made it harder and harder to stay motivated to get through the mounting pile of work that I seem to add to each and every year. And as my head bobs and bounces off of my chest while I try to stay awake finishing projects and answering emails only by the light of my laptop late at night, it finally hits me as the question drops in:
"When did I feel that I could possibly outrun the darkness?"
It was as though I held a belief for my entire life that I could control the forces of nature and have them bend to my needs and greatest desires. But just because man has been able to create light, this does NOT make him God.
There is an undefinable quality that is saturated within every drop of sunlight that no matter how hard we try, will never be possible to re-create through a lightbulb or any other form of manmade light. And though we can try to pretend that we've been able to control the forces of nature for our benefit, we don't need to look any farther than our own state of mental and emotional health to see the real truth.
There's a reason why so many indigenous people's have celebrated the winter solstice for thousands of years, and not one of those traditions (that I am aware of anyway), has anything to do with patting themselves on the back for their discoveries and inventions of light. No, these important ceremonies and celebrations all hold sacred the role that the universal sun plays in their lives and the livelihood of the planet.
And yes, winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, but even more importantly, it marks the new journey of the sun as it makes its return back. And without our time spent in darkness, would we even appreciate the light as much as we do when those days begin to get longer and the earth slowly begins to melt in its wake?
In deep gratitude this winter solstice for the gifts that both the light and the darkness bring into our lives, I wish you a peaceful, loving, and inspiring return,
All my love,
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