This is my fifth year in Australia and it has never been this cold. My car windows are frozen in the mornings and all the plants are covered with a blanket of ice. The temperate this morning was -1 degrees celsius. Yikes!
It is a beautiful time of year and today we are celebrating the shortest day and the longest night. (If you are in the northern hemisphere, you are celebrating the other extreme – the longest day and shortest night.)
Last night, our school organised a beautiful celebration of the solstice. The children made their own lanterns.
We then had a shared supper and we went on a lovely nature walk in the darkness. It was really magical.
What is so touching about creating something like this at this time of year is that we can physically see the beauty of a light in the darkness. Most of us hate the winter, we hate the cold.
It is a metaphor for the fear we have of our own darkness. We are so scared to go into our own darkness, because we are afraid of what we might find. But, when we trust the process, when we trust that there is beauty and wonder in the deepest darkness, we step into it, afraid, but ready to be transformed.
I suggest that tonight, or this weekend, you make some time to look into your own darkness. Invite your children to share in this ritual. Our family is going to leave all the lights off for the whole night and put the candles and the fire on. (Obviously being fire safe) We will take our unlit lanterns for a walk while it is still light outside. We will take a walk to a special place. We will gather in our special place and ask ourselves: “What does the light inside me want me to know?” You will be surprised by the wisdom that comes out of your children’s mouths. We will then each light our candles and journey back home, to find our home magically lit up and enjoy a peaceful meal by candlelight. We do this each year.
You will be amazed at the stillness it creates within you and your children. It will truly connect you to deepest self. Once the children are in bed, pull out your journal and ask your deepest self what it wants you to know as you journey into the darkest time of the year. Or grab your art supplies and create an image representing what you would like to express right now. Or dream in your perfect life with your spouse and a glass of wine. Now is the time to create our manifestations, but not to act on them. I created the house that I live in, in the darkness of Winter. Trust me, it is a powerful time, make the most of it.
This time will last for six weeks until Imbolc in the first week of August, which will herald the first stirrings of Spring. It can feel long and scary and often we believe it will never end. The cycle of life promises rebirth, it can be no other way. But, there has to be death if there is to be any new life. Change is the only constant in this beautiful journey of life. The Spring will come, yes it will.
Trust the process.
Do you do anything to mark the change in seasons with your family? Would you like to? Have you noticed a change in yourself since you have started doing it? (I know that I have.)
I would love to know. Sharing is healing and your words could inspire someone else. Your words are important, please do not keep them to yourself.
Blessings to you.
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