Sunday, December 21, 2014

Celebrating the Seasons: The Winter Solstice

   We come to the final celebration in the Celtic wheel of the year...the Winter Solstice.  The days have gotten shorter and shorter as the spiral turned inward...into a darkening time of introspection.  But we've reach a turning point.  From now on, the days will brighten and the spiral will journey outward again.

   In the Celtic calendar it is mid-winter but we, here in the 21st century, see the Solstice as the first day of winter.  With the harsh and fluctuating weather we've been experiencing here in Maine, I'll take the "mid-winter" stance!  Certainly feels like it should be at any rate.

   The long winter nights are perfect for creating digital latest one is above.  I thought this one summarizes the holiday season, when we are constantly working against the clock and trying not to overspend.  The holidays should mean more than that.  But this collage can be viewed in so many other ways as well...which is why I find this process so captivating.  Everyone who looks at it will "read" it in another way.

   With Christmas only four days away, I find the Solstice a wonderful moment of pause.  The sun seems to pause for three days on the horizon at the Solstice and we should too.  It is a time to take a deep breath and embrace this turning point in the year.  The days will now begin to lengthen, the holiday chaos will pass.  I'm looking forward to quiet days by the fire as Emerson and I contemplate a new year.  The Solstice is a time of list making for me.  What are the things I am most grateful for this year; what do I need to put behind me?   Do you have any "year end" rituals?  The ancient Celts have taught me one important thing and I hope I have communicated it through this series Celebrating the Seasons.  We must embrace each season as it comes and celebrate what it brings for each has its own unique perspective for the contemplative mind.

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light 
which flashes across his mind from within. 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


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