To counter the Dark Side of December post, here is a lighter angle on the holiday season we are in. First off, Happy Winter solstice! As of the 21st, we have officially lived through the darkest, shortest day of the year. Go us! Go planet earth and all of the sun worshipping creatures alive today!
There is also a lot of twinkly light and color at the holiday. Things that smell nice, and usually a little break. Sometimes one is completely alone. Sometimes there is no family. Sometimes the invitation to share the holiday was declined, devastatingly. But still, opportunities are there for listening in the silence, in the dark, in the big hush and pause of the whole thing.
For a while in my life, my holiday was piggybacking on someone else's holiday. For a while it was lots and lots of pie making, and then pie giving away. There were the drunken years, living to join friends at the bar after the family meal, and the breakup at holiday time, which is a brutal no fun experience.
In the end, there is a kind of Christ light coming into the world that I sense at this time of year. Interpret that however you like, in the lense of whatever your beliefs. Some seed beginning to germinate that really hasn't broken the frozen ground. The miracle of all of the animals that somehow survive the cold and bare outside for the whole year. A chickadee for example: how does a ping pong ball size bird manage to stay alive, let alone fly and sing, in the northern part of the US, all winter long? Also, there are the little twinkles and the tiny bells, magicking out the dark.
How do you personally, sense the quiet light of this time of year? What brings it clearest into focus for you? I find that with every year, what I love gets easier to identify and then to bring forward as a way of relating to and being in this time. What is it for you? Let's pool ideas.
Hannah Burr is a contemporary artist and author. Originally from Boston, she lives in Ann Arbor MI.