DON'T HOLD BACK !
PhotoThe World Turns! It never stops. Incessantly, quietly, continuing to turn so that night becomes day and Winter turns into Spring. In December we celebrate Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.
In Ireland an ancient tomb at Newgrange has a window lined up to the sun of the December 21st dawn so that it floods the chamber. Each year celebrators make the dark pilgrimage to welcome the light of the morn. Often the winter weather can disappoint, but this year the clouds allowed the sun to prove the wisdom of the ancient architecture.
This Pagan Winter Solstice ritual celebrates the silent wonder of nature making change. It often goes unnoticed as focus goes to more Christmassy things. Attending the Navity, we remember the Christian story of Christmas. A family is born and needs help through kindness. They are poor and seeking shelter. Our modern Irish version is the Home Sweet Home project taking care of the homeless people in Dublin. They had a significant day on the 21st with a court ruling that supports their actions into the New Year.
The rest of us are getting the laundry done, cleaning the house and clearing the cupboards to allow for an abundance of food in preparation for the feast we will share with our family and friends. Christmas day is about sharing of presents, feasting and being together.
Some other traditions associated with Christmas were knocking on the doors of the village demanding a beer. Bringing a tree indoors and decorating with fruit to represent the Adam and Eve story, reminding Christians of their beginning. Another ritual was asking someone out for a fight; a conscious effort to clear the air, put past bygones to rest.
These rituals we take for granted, have become “what we do” for Christmas. They are unconsciously followed, sometimes resisted, and often we don’t even know why any more.
The shortest day has passed. The Solstice has been celebrated. Take a moment before Santa calls to see what you want to let go of. What’s not working for you anymore that you wish to change?
What bygones do you wish to lay to rest and leave behind? What do you choose for your Christmas celebrations that you wish to carry into the days and months of 2017? The Christmassy cheer and feelings will pass. What of this season is good and worth preserving? What new beginning do you wish to make to continue throughout the year?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a continuing solution to homelessness, kindness to each other, regularly clearing the air and not letting emotions fester until combustion?
What do you wish for YOU as the light gets longer each day and a New Year approaches? What will be YOUR ongoing gift to YOURSELF as the world turns?
Take some time to yourself this Christmas to notice what YOU truly wish for.
Let the bright light of the lengthening days shine on your wishes.
Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.