Sitting around a campfire at night?
The circle of light within a vast ocean of darkness?
Leaving the fire and how the darkness swallowed you up as you felt your way to your tent to drop into the darkness of sleep?
Our bodies were made for darkness just as much as they were made for light.
For the darkness that invites non-doing and rest, slowness and dreaming, waiting and hope.
For the darkness that allows our bodies to heal, to regenerate, and rebalance in sleep.
Before electricity, we lived with, in, and by the dictates of the dark. In addition to fire light, there were candles and grease lamps, but they weren’t abundant, so they were saved for necessary tasks.
In the winter, we slept earlier in the evening and later in the morning, in accordance with the sun’s light.
And outside of our homes, it was dark—no street lights, car headlights, lit-up buildings…
Now, unless you live away from other houses in the country, it’s hard to experience total darkness.
Have you seen those maps of the world showing the light at night? It’s called light pollution and has become a health hazard to our bodies and to the creatures we share this world with.
Sea turtle hatchlings can’t find their way out to sea by the light of the moon because the city lights confuse them. Lack of darkness interrupts the predator/prey relationship, and even frog and toad breeding cycles. Birds that hunt or migrate at night have a hard time following the moon or stars, and seasonal migrations may even get knocked off their regular patterns due to light pollution.
Light pollution has taken away the dark. It has taken away the night sky.
One Secret by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Not the brilliant stars
But the infinite dark
What I wish on
This time of deepening darkness that reaches its peak at the Winter Solstice is an invitation to allow the dark to affect us, but not hold us captive.
It is an invitation to adapt to the living earth like all other creatures.
It is an invitation to allow ourselves to slow down, to dream, to rest.
It is an invitation to let old patterns, polarities, and problems that aren’t serving us dissolve as fresh, new life is rewoven in the growing light.
Holiday parties break up the darkness, bringing us together to feast and share in the coming light.
But then let us return to the darkness. To the unraveling, the unwinding, the making ready for the new.
Let us connect with the living earth and her rhythms to wait and trust that the sun will return again.
And then let the light find its way, day by day, from the midst of the darkness, growing, shining, bringing new life.
This is the promise of Winter Solstice.
In 2022, Winter Solstice arrives at 1:47 pm PT
on Wednesday the 21st of December.
If you’d like to mark this time on your own, I have a few suggestions for rituals in past blogposts here:
If you would like to be in community, I will be guiding an outdoor, earth-based, family-friendly ritual at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in the courtyard from 7-8 pm on the 21st. Read more.
My winter dreaming is bringing changes…
Since we moved to Port Townsend, Washington in the summer of 2019, life has changed a lot!
My main focus, when I am not working, is tending the land (growing as much edible, medicinal, and native as possible) and tending my family (husband, dog, aging parents, myself). And I am still singing–how could I not?
Because of this, I have not sought to build a coaching practice, even though I do still see clients from time to time. And now, I need to simplify more, so I’m going to let this big website go. I plan to create a blog site, so you will still hear from me from time to time.
Happy Winter Dreaming and Winter Solstice! I wonder what you will dream into?
14 thoughts on “Winter Solstice 2022”
I just read your blog post. I support your decision to simplify. You continue to give so much, in every area of your life. We all benefit from your light and wisdom. Kudos to you for narrowing your focus, at least a bit! Love and hugs, Heidi
thank you, dear friend, for your support as i find my way…love, Katy
I you Katy! Across the miles, journeys around the sun and the joy of being connected in the web of life….Blessings to you and Dave and family of all kinds. I will always hear you singing on the Winter Solstice.
Tamerin in Durango
Tamerin–so sweet to hear from you! blessings right backatcha! love, Katy
Such a beautiful post, Katy. Thanks from my heart to yours for every tender syllable of your thoughts here, and for the reminder about rituals.
I did grow up in a country village nearly 80 years ago, and our driving outward from its lights led us into true darkness. Sometimes we’d pause and step out into it … a magickal embrace palpable even to a child already drawn to shadowy stuff.
I hope to share this piece with a fellow elderwoman, a friend who was widowed this autumn.
Looking forward to hearing about your new blog site! Meantime, all the very best to You and Your Household of Beloveds this winter and onwards.
Kitty, so nice to hear from you!! thank you for your kind presence shining through your reply.
What wonderful news for you, Katy! Tending to the most important things in life right now for you – Beings, Land, Self – singing, working, ripening, resting, and all.the.things. Sending you and yours much love and well-wishes for the coming year. I look forward to your blog site when the time is right!
Kathy in Burnsville
thank you, Kathy! lovely to hear from you. LOVE, Katy
Katy, thank you for sharing so richly! Your extraordinary spirit radiates light, love and delight. Your presence, gifts and song remain always, as warmth and inspiration. I trust the direction you are called to now, will expand the beauty and mystery of your heart and soul.
With love and celebration!
thank you, Laurie. so generous you are with your kinds words! you remain a role model for me in listening and following the light that calls you.
Thanks Katy. Nice to hear from you. I too feel the pull to be DOING less and most if the time I feel ok with it. It’s allowed me to be more creative and be involved with my family more fully.
Wishing you and Dave bright new year
good to hear from you, too, Charlene! enjoy your slower, creative time! love to you and John, too.
I’m so happy to hear how you are taking such tender care of Herself, Katy. Sending love from St. Paul.
I still miss you. Can’t help it.
oh, Suzanne, so sweet to hear from you! receiving love from St. Paul and missing you! ❤