Solstice Reflections 2012 is an online gathering of reflections by five lovely women on the spirit of winter. My hope is that this may offer you a momentary respite from a sometimes hectic season, allowing you to sit with your own reflections as you enter your personal winter. Click here for all posts to date.
Since the start of summer, I have spent at least an hour every evening walking the towering tree lined streets of my beautiful neighbourhood. I have watched the way the sun changes and the descent into darkness has been a slow lingering affair, speeding up as December grew near.
On winter solstice, this part of the world has 7 hours and 23 minutes of daylight which is a far cry from the 17 hours and 9 minutes of daylight that joyously invigorates us during the summer solstice. I head off to work in the dark and the sun sets while I am still at work and so I commute home in the dark.
My evening walks have taught me that the dark is not really as dark as I once thought and as I walk in the hushed shadowed air, the snow crunching beneath my feet, I notice the sparkle rising up and flirting with the light of the streetlamps as stars slide down and dance around the ever falling flakes making love to the moon's powerful poetry. The weekends become precious markers of time as I head out three or four times during the day, excited to be walking in daylight. My eyes devour the light, often golden as the sun rises and the sun sets. I am learning the deep magic of the marriage of white skies and white landscape bouncing light, soft and strikingly pure filling rooms and eyes with a breath puffed in cotton. Daylight is stark clarity reminding me of white sheets blowing in a summer's breeze while the night is all mystery and sparkle magic revealing hidden secrets of the muse.
I have been shifting furniture and rearranging photographs and artwork, changing my curtains from deep jewel tones to the soft white mirror of the natural world, shifting the energy to hold light in. And I walk outside and watch the snow come down, sparkling shards of softness that pile up in mounds around me before I curl up in my nest while soup simmers on the stove and banana chocolate chip muffins turn golden brown in the oven.
The further north you travel, the less and less daylight there is but the earth compensates by providing the blinding white of snow and ice that starts sometime in the autumn and lasts through to the spring and these days I see all that snow as a gift from the earth. As the solstice grows nearer, more and more glowing lights find themselves wrapped around the trees and houses which in turn gives more sparkle and beauty to the hills of snow that blanket the gardens of summer. And I am more aware of the way we mirror the cycles of nature and the ways that many of society's traditions come from a deep place of honouring those cycles.
And I am grateful for the precious bits of sunlight even as I honour the mystery of the dark with the soft glow of candles and the twinkle of fairy lights strung around the room, my droopy eyes, soft pillows and down filled quilts. Winter solstice is a perfect time to dream, to manifest and create magic and allow our personal mythic journeys to unfold deep inside of us. The earth is holding her breath, resting and dreaming of the shifts that will start when the light comes back and she springs to action and lets her magic bloom outwards in growth. And I am holding my breath, resting and dreaming and knowing that the light will return my energy and I will burst open like the flowers currently sleeping seeds beneath the frosty blanket of night.
Darlene Kreutzer lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and she is grateful for family, the light that casts beauty across shadows, music that lifts emotions, a little house and garden filled with colour and love, friends and inspirations, the beauty of nature, the cold spray of a wild lake, the soft barnacle skin of the grey whale and the possibilities that exist in life.
She can be found at www.hippyurbangirl.com.