Winter Solstice occurs on Dec 21st. This is the shortest day of the year. In Minnesota, where I live, the sun will rise just before 8am and set by 4:30pm that afternoon, leaving us just over 8 and a half hours of sunlight. This may seem like a strange thing to celebrate, but our ancestors did celebrate it. Just as they celebrated the Summer Solstice in June. Let me share with you what this day means to me.
Winter Solstice is the celebration of the return of the Sun. After this date, the days (amount of sunlight) will begin to grow in length. This is why Christians decided to celebrate Jesus’s birthday at this time of the year, the return of the Son. Back in a time when there were no electric lights, it must have been a great thing to know that the amount of daylight would soon increase in length.
For me Solstice means:
- Hope: I realize that we have turned the corner and are heading for more light and the return of warmer days. If the cycles of life provide for improved daylight ratios, as well improved temperatures, why would I not believe that anything and everything else can improve too. For me Winter Solstice is a celebration of Hope.
- Duality: There is also Summer Solstice that is the longest day of the year. Duality exists in all aspects of our life. There are times to cry and times to celebrate. Dark times and light times. Time to play and time to work, as well as a time to be young and a time to be old.
- Patience: The seeds are laying dormant under the earth. They are patiently waiting for spring when they can stretch and start to grow. Everything has a season and this is a season of waiting.
- Reflection: This is the time of year to go within and learn more deeply who we are, What can we change about ourselves and what should we embrace.
- Strength: A strong will is required to survive the winters of old. To me, Solstice is also a celebration of the ‘force of will’ to persevere through the cold and dark winter months, knowing that in time, the sun will return.
- Rest: The fields lay dormant. The work is done until the snow melts and the seeds are ready to be tended. Of course this is no longer the reality for most of us. We work just as hard in the winter, but the quiet dark days encourage us to rest.
- Purity: The white blanket that covers the earth in the part of the world where I live, makes me think of purity. The white snow glistens when the sun shines on it. We are all pure. We are all worthy of love. We are good. We are enough.
- Family: Because of all of the gatherings of family and friends (that feel like family) at this time of year, I feel Solstice also symbolizes this love. That warm feeling you get in the heart when you think of those you are bonded too.
Whatever this time of year means to you, I wish you a very Happy Winter Solstice. Look forward to the Sun returning and the daylight hours stretching in length. Be still within yourself and allow this time of year to reveal its personal meaning to you. It is a magical time of year.
Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May the cycles of life give you comfort, as if by magic.
*Photo was taken in Brentwood, TN.
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