12:11 p.m. Winter solstice, the moment of the shift. Earlier today, as David and I drove to yoga class, the sun was a huge ball of fuzz in a cloudy sky, a ring of blurred light much bigger than itself. Then the day sank into a gray dimness. Now the sun is out again, snow is dripping from the roof and I’m on the porch as I write, fingers bare on the keyboard. A bit of spring on a day that will soon be dark again.
Can I celebrate the darkness? That was the focus today in yoga class, to find the impulse inside for what is coming next, what is going to grow, how the stillness of this season, when so much of nature has quieted, can let us go deep enough to find what needs to emerge.
Mostly I feel like I endure the growing darkness and steel myself to get through the days of diminishing light, reaching towards this point, when the earth’s orbit starts to tilt us closer to the sun again. But I know there are many more months of darkness to come, and that this is just the beginning of a season, even if the light is changing.
So I’m going to focus on making darkness my ally. Cultivating a capacity for stillness is completely new for me. Sitting still, concentrating on my breath, and listening to a teacher talk about finding balance in my mind, body and spirit is something I always thought I wanted to do, but never thought I would actually do. Now I am.
Wherever embrace of the darkness and a focus on inner impulses leads me, I’m ready. Tomorrow night when we gather with friends to celebrate the solstice, lighting candles and making wishes for the coming year, I’m going to welcome the darkness, rather than try to race through it. Slow down, breathe, listen, and let what needs to emerge come to the surface. I’ll say hello, most likely write about whatever it is, and move through it. Namaste.