As we spiral our way into the core of darkness here in the northern hemisphere, winter solstice marking the end point to sunlight’s lowest ebb, I cannot help but reflect on the significance of this annual passage and all that accumulates around it. This year feels more poignant than many, with the ghastly murderous tragedy in Newtown, CT, USA coloring our lives; shock, betrayal, grief and anger now our table-mates this holiday season.
For twenty years I have consciously honored the winter solstice, in fact I got married on it one year! Usually, I light a fire and burn a piece of paper with all that I want to ‘let go of’ in my life written on it. The older earth based religions of the world, Mayans included, celebrated this night of extreme darkness, as over the next six months it was all about the joyous movement of daylight’s growing expansion. A time of reverence for me, I take some time on December 21 to review my year, take stock of my choices and achievements, assess my health and peer forward into just what I elect to do or not do in the year ahead.
Always I give thanks for the opportunity of living, the people dear to me and the guidance and protection I feel graced with. And yes, there a few pieces I want to let go of; each year this varies. They are placed on my paper to burn.
Tonight I sit snugly in my simple, yet comfortable home. Our newly adorned fir Christmas tree twinkles with baubles and light. My family is fed and safe. I feel deeply satisfied with the enormous amount of energy and heart I have put into lyme disease education- thirty seven lectures, sixteen radio shows, five national network TV programs, eight front page newspaper features, endless articles, blogs and tweets- all in one year! My life is full and I am healthy. I am proud of “Out of The Woods” and blessed by the amazing connections it has woven in my world.
My mind gravitates to the twenty eight homes in Newtown, Connecticut though. The degree of suffering and loss they are all experiencing must be bottomless. I honestly do not know how some of these individuals are enduring, their tender children and treasured friends ripped away so violently.
I know the USA is in mourning. We all feel a piece of the pain. Putting ourselves in their shoes, we feel the stomach lurching horror and heart-wrenching fear. This grizzly, senseless rampage has wounded a nation. Our hearts all tremble with the families in Newtown. In fact, I realize, when sitting in meditation, that in essence, the whole world resonates with this profound sadness. In a certain way, we have all been thrown “off center”.
As I prepare my thoughts for my annual winter solstice fire and ‘release’, this year I actually write more words about the world than me.
On my paper I write; bloodshed, guns, murders, mass killings, riots, hurricanes, economic collapse, lyme disease, ignorance, heartbreak, spiritual bankruptcy, and prepare to shed all the energy surrounding these conditions. We must release these vibrations, or our health will be adversely affected by carrying the catastrophic force fields within. I visualize joy, compassion, love, and tenderness filling me to the brim. I imagine these rounded, radiant vibrations soothing our citizens, the country, the entire world. We need this salve.
As the world turns in its everlasting patient revolution, I look towards the sunshine and all that it heralds. As we move out of this time of deep darkness, a time of mourning and desolation, we can be reminded that ever faithfully, we will be renewed. Just as we plummeted into tragedy and pitch black, we will expand into glory and light. It all comes around again.
I ask for grace. I ask for peace. I ask for safety, trust and faith. May there be love in our hearts. May we each let go of that which binds or wounds us and turn towards the sun and beckon in all that breathes life and joy into our souls.
Thank you readers, for your time with me here, for our shared communion, for the good you bring into the world. May you cherish the beauty of living, may each day shine with more light.