I started silverwhitewinters on 21st December which, as it turns out, was the Winter solstice. I woke about 5.30am with the blog a fully-formed idea in my head and was itching to get up and start writing.
Later, when I realised it was the solstice, I thought it quite curious that this idea of new beginnings, fresh starts and lighter subjects had just arrived, all ready to go, on that very day.
Probably. But let’s go with it anyway!
The Winter solstice marks the shortest day, the darkest night, the days becoming lighter from then on. It’s an important axis of the year. Celebrated in many cultures with festivals and rituals welcoming the return of light, it is seen as a time of rebirth. The sun dies and is reborn in that one moment. The solstice is a significant marker of seasonal shift: seeds lie in dark earth ready to be ‘enlivened’ by the sunshine now on its way.
And that’s a bit like us, isn’t it?
We hibernate in the darker months and become, like tiny mammals, more lively as the light grows and we edge ever-closer to Spring. The turning point of the Winter solstice is a time of great hope – the light is on its way to us, sunshine will warm us once again. But, as we wait, we can see those cosier months as a time for rest, a chance for deeper reflection before activity take us over once again. I’ve always loved that feeling. Especially if it gives me an excuse for a faux fur blanket and a marshmallowey hot chocolate!
Many people hate the Winter and spend their time craving Spring, an attitude which has always struck me as a bit of a shame. How much more joyful to see Winter for what it is: a slower-life time which enables us to go inwards a little more, to think more deeply about ourselves, our loved ones, our lives. We can take the chance to plan for our more sunshiney lives, when our energy batteries have been recharged by rest, our minds set for the months ahead and we’re ready to push our way through the earth, blooming like the little seeds we are.
For the three days around the solstice, it is said that we experience the sudden stillness of the Earth, the axis turning, the shift in direction. I certainly did, and I can’t wait to see where I end up.
Did you feel a change around that time, too, or was it just me?