Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice - December 22 (12:30 am)

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 Today begins a new year.
 While I know January first is the traditional beginning of a new year,  there are several other "New Year's" dates that are far more important to me personally.  September, because I am a teacher, is ALWAYS a new year, a fresh start, at school.  And, the Winter Solstice, is by far the MOST important new beginning for me - the day the light begins to return to the earth. Seconds at first, then minute by minute, gradually earth, and we with it, turn our faces to the light once again, a little more every day.  Though it seems, where I live, that winter has not even yet begun, and lies still too many long months ahead ahead, I take comfort in the fact that even though we may eventually be in for snow and winds and storms and many bitter cold days, we are, in fact, actually doing so with more light in the world. That's strong encouragement. Too many bad things happen in darkness, and many more good happen in the light. According to the ancient Celts, the year could be divided most simply into "the dark half," beginning at Summer Solstice, and "the light half," beginning at the Winter Solstice.  Many, many cultures celebrate the bringing of the light into the world in some way or another this time of year, and although I strongly, strongly believe and hold fast to celebrating the Savior of Mankind's birth as that of bringing the MOST light to a dark humankind, it doesn't, in any way, preclude me from celebrating the physical return of a few more moments of sunshine on the snowy ground, either. I love the winter solstice. It is magical, and doesn't require that I buy the perfect present, stress over how many different types of cookies to bake, or worry about getting my cards stamped and in the mail on time. It's a joyful new beginning, just when the world, and I, needs it most.
A New Year Blessing - by John O'Donohue  
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life."

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1 comment:

Kimberlee said...

Beautiful thoughts, exquisite photos. What a great beginning you have made. I'm still enjoying your delicious jams! I think of you every time I have toast! :) Happy 2012!