"Look at winter with winter eyes." ~ Douglas Flourian
To me the beauty of winter solstice is to be found held within the essence of the light at the heart of darkness ... the promise that all is well and we are all loved.
As we enter the darkness of winter we take with us a glimmer of light, the promise that from this shortest day and longest night the warmth and brightness of the sun will slowly grow stronger as we move towards summer solstice - but that is a long time coming. Although we may cringe at the thought, there is beauty to be found here in this place of impenetrable darkness and cold. There is a light deep within - deep within us and within the land. At first we will feel the intensity of the cold wind, the constriction of ice, the achingly omnipresent quiet. Yet our strength and grace will be shown to us as we sit in our aloneness surrounded by the whisperings of the swaying trees and the swirling snow as it settles in the valley.
I encourage you to stay, to wrap yourself in the beauty of the still darkness and open to the gifts that reside there. Watch the fox tracking in the snow, notice the crow like a sentinel perched on the top of a lone pine, and admire the intricacies of ice on a frozen pond, coating a pine bough, or capturing a moment in time in a cascading stream. Find where they reside within you. How do they inspire you? What do they teach you?
As we enter the darkness of winter I invite you to stay present, to soften your stiff countenance and allow the essence of the dark to penetrate you. Open to the whisperings of the land for it is there where you will find the light at the heart of darkness.
Stay, don't leave... be still and listen to the murmurings of winter.
Look at winter
With winter eyes
As smoke curls from rooftops
To clear cobalt skies.
Breathe in winter
Past winter nose:
The sweet scent of black birch
Where velvet moss grows.