I’ve been thinking a lot about this Solstice, about the stories I might share and the wisdom to be given of the darkest night. And then true Solstice passed, and I couldn’t find the words to write the post to share with you. Until today. I was reminded of a chant, the one that for years was used to conclude the Yule rituals in a community I have since lost, but not forgotten. It’s a chant I’m sure I have heard before (I think it might even be in Rise Up Singing), but it is perfect for this time, this place, this planet.
Winter Solstice is a hard time of year for me. So many people make assumptions that I’m Christian, that I celebrate Christmas. I have to just grin and bear it when sales people (or conversely customers) wish me a “merry Christmas!” as we part. My circumstances make it so that I can’t travel to visit family, and I’m not sure they’d want to see me anyway. All told, it’s rough. I cry myself to sleep most nights.
And then, the Solstice is here. Suddenly I can feel the lengthening days, even if it is just a minute here or there. The weight begins to lift from my heart and I can breathe a little more deeply. I feel the click and shift so clearly in my bones. I am grateful for the dying of the darkness to begin, like the moment a vine begins to die and the tree to which it clings raises her branches high again.
But one line sticks with me today, one phrase a forgotten reminder that the road ahead is still not easy. We are still in the midst of the storm. We are still consumed by the darkness. As Hecate turns Her scythe to the path we have chosen, we must still tread with watchful eyes, awaiting the gift in the lessons.
light is returning
even though this is the darkest hour
no one can hold back the dawn
let’s keep it burning
let’s keep the flame of hope alive
make safe our journey through the storm
one planet is turning
circles on the path around the sun
earth mother is calling her children home
light is returning – charlie murphy
click to play audio recording