I hope you in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying this dark period. The further north you live, the more intimate you are with darkness. And it might be depressing. Because of that, many people celebrate Winter Solstice as a returning of the light. Which is true: It will get lighter every day from here on until Summer Solstice in June. But right now it is dark. Very dark. And this is the moment we are in.
In our practice, we come into skillful compassionate relationship with all that arises, not making an enemy of anything. So why make an enemy of early sundowns and late sunrises when it is a powerful presence in our current experience?
Back in the early 1990’s I was so tired of people chasing the coming lightening of the days instead of being fully present here and now, that I wrote what I guess could be called a love poem to darkness. I’ve shared it every Winter Solstice since in one form or another, and it has become a tradition in solstice gatherings around the world. Feel free to share, but include attribution.
In Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Do not be afraid of the darkness.
Dark is the rich fertile earth
that cradles the seed, nourishing growth.
Dark is the soft night that cradles us to rest.
Only in darkness
can stars shine across the vastness of space.
Only in darkness
is the moon’s dance so clear.
There is mystery woven in the dark quiet hours.
There is magic in the darkness.
Do not be afraid.
We are born of this magic.
It fills our dreams
that root, unravel and reweave themselves
in the shelter of the deep dark night.
The dark has its own hue,
its own resonance, its own breath.
It fills our soul,
not with despair, but with promise.
Dark is the gestation of our deep and knowing self.
Dark is the cave where we rest and renew our soul.
We are born of the darkness,
and each night we return
to the deep moist womb of our beginnings.
Do not be afraid of the darkness,
for in the depth of that very darkness
comes a first glimpse of our own light,
the pure inner light of love and knowing.
As it glows and grows, the darkness recedes.
As we shed our light, we shed our fear,
and revel in the wonder of all that is revealed.
So, do not rush the coming of the sun.
Do not crave the lengthening of the day.
Celebrate the darkness.
Here and now. A time of richness. A time of joy.
– Stephanie Noble
copyright Stephanie Noble 1992
I also offer an illustrated narrated version on Youtube.
Wishing you and yours every joy of the season! – Stephanie