Even though we lived in the city, my father remained true to his southern roots and was devoted to growing all types of things from the soil. And he consulted his Farmer’s Almanac and later the Weather Channel regularly to inform his urban gardening plans. I have to admit that I did not grow up with a spoken consciousness about the solstice. But considering the bounty of his garden each year, I know my father respected the solstice as a time of transition into a season of dormancy necessary for the new growth in his garden.
Last night marked an historic moment in the earth’s sky. For the first time since 1544, the earth aligned directly with the sun and moon, which cast a shadow on the moon’s face. This all happened on Winter Solstice, which is the longest night and shortest day of the year. For many, darkness is associated with negative things, but we also know that darkness is the birthplace of dawn — of light.
Nature is a generous teacher and model for how we might live our lives. Those flowers in my father’s garden regenerated and bloomed after a period of barren stillness in winter. So too, can we retreat into contemplation of those things we want to be born into our own lives for the new year, and we can allow anything that no longer serves our highest good to die away.
In this rare solar event as light recedes, perhaps we can take a moment to imagine the world we want to live in. What thoughts, ideas, or circumstances no longer serve you? How might we bloom differently or commit to change in the world to prepare for the sun that is certain to rise?