Winter solstice marks the first day of the Northern Hemisphere winter – the longest, darkest night of the year. But after reaching the darkest moment of the darkest night of the year, winter immediately shifts course to usher in lighter and warmer days.
Within back-to-back minutes, on the first day of winter, the celebration of its beginning instantly leads to the launch of its fading – the shift toward springtime. Snow droplets still fall, stacking atop one another, drifting their pretty ice petals into piles of freezing cold.
However, beyond the snowdrifts lies time, drifting slowly by in incremental fractions, favorably reaching toward the light. Daylight grows longer, and decorative petals of snow melt into water puddles refracting the light. Refraction extends throughout the skies with precisely and colorfully aligned back-bended rainbows. Their arches providing gateways into longer days, and warmer shortened nights.
Warmth cannot be fully understood without the cold. Daylight cannot exist without night. We are in constant flux. Shorter days, longer nights, colder days, warmer nights. Seasons mark the passage of time, each bringing with them their struggles, and each, their strengths.
A journey of growth, each step to be relished at full capacity. Increasing light – a sign of hope when all seems drab – a sign of life when hibernation and dormancy reach toward the rising sun awaiting another chance to break through the cold, to bud, then bloom. Light brings newness and hope, signaling dormancy to shed, and revitalization to take the helm. It is time for personal awakening to unleash.
The arrival of maturity and growth, reaching its full seasonal capacity. Light to brighten eyes and mood, nourishing mental and physical health. The sunshine provides nutrients that protect our bodies against inflammation and high blood pressure and improve muscle and brain functions. Summer signifies strength and thriving expressions of color, ingenuity, and energetic life.
As time pushes us forward, the wind must too, whisking away the energies of the past, blowing us rhythmically toward increasing darkness. A time to let go, yet embrace increasingly longer nights. We leave what once was, shedding old skin, but packing up lessons learned to take with us into the next season of life. Firelight and candlelight provide time for reflection to see and gather what is needed in preparation for longer cooler nights.
A time of quiet, reflective growth under dormant conditions. Dormancy is a rest mechanism vital to survival. It minimizes metabolic activity and therefore helps an organism to conserve energy before it bursts forth with another season of vivacity and beauty. Each ensuing day brings increasing light to break through the coldness of the winter days, preparing for new life.
Time keeps time for us; never slowing, never accelerating, just keeping beat to the perfectly designed drum of time. We need each season, in its time, for us to grow, rest, reflect, and be.
Turn now. Winter solstice is behind you. Step toward the light. What will you do with the gift of increasing daylight? Don’t put it to bed too early. Keep trying. Don’t give up. You have more light, more wisdom, a chance for a new beginning. Leave the darkness behind. It’s time to reevaluate, respond, release, renew, regain, reignite, regenerate, reboot.
Prepare your soul before the season goes. Prepare to spring into the next equinox, so you’ll be ready to bloom in season.
by Darci Joy Steiner