The day of winter solstice, I was in the kitchen preparing to make soup. To accompany my chopping and peeling and stirring I wanted some music to listen to.
Christmas carols might seem like the perfect choice for this time of year. Instead, the CD I found myself pulling off the shelf was Maurice Durufle’s Requiem mass – a mass for the dead.
Many wonderful composers have set the mass for the dead to music – Berlioz, Brahms, Faure, Mozart, Verdi – but for me Durufle’s version is transcendent. It was the perfect choice. The music is glorious and I found myself smiling and feeling joyful as I listened and made soup.
This year I am consciously conspiring with the darkness. Winter and particularly winter solstice, the longest night of the year, has been called a season of dying. Nature shows us a mirror at this time that has nothing to do with busyness and consumerism and everything to do with a practice for dying and being with darkness.
Winter Solstice: a Time of Mystery
The day before my soup making day, we experienced a high wind in the area I live. The wind did a lot of damage. The result was power outages, trees downed, boats lost, and docks ruined. Meteorologists pointed to a cold front moving in from the Pacific as the cause.
But Gaia is a living entity and I saw the wind more on a mystical level. In humans, any blockage of energy in our lungs is seen as unexpressed grief. Wind is the earth’s breath and she is grieving. She is experiencing her own darkness before the emergence of the light of spring. Whimsical, perhaps, but nonetheless I felt it strongly.
I think more people are experiencing the mysteries these days. As I was out and about in the days before Christmas, the people I met seemed kinder, less rushed, more patient. More light is being born in the darkness this year than ever before.
During the winter solstice, those awake and aware celebrate the emergence of the light, even though it appears like the darkness is going on for too long.
Looking at the Dark of the External World
If we focus solely on the external world, darkness has another face. It’s horrible and yet fascinating to observe the sheer terror demonstrated by those desperately trying to inject new life into the dying structures of the old way.
It’s not always easy to stay out of the trap that darkness holds for us. The trap is placed in our path by those who are dancing around doing whatever they can to avoid their own dark shadow and pain. To prevent ourselves from falling in, we must understand that the darkness we see is a projection of our own, and respond accordingly.
Every soul here now chose to come at this time to be part of the light. The choice lies in whether we are actively and consciously living in service to the new way, or whether we are helping it emerge by creating resistance and contrast.
Never Miss the Weekly Post
To be in the mystery means being willing to live with a foot in both worlds. We walk in the external world of the ordinary mundane activities of life. Yet we are also alive in the hidden universe of thought and feeling that exists in our own mind, a world always and forever merged with Infinite Mind.
The Lead Up to Winter Solstice and Christmas
I used to find Christmas very difficult. I’d start to slide into depression at the beginning of Dec, and then it would magically lift as the new year began.
Once I let go of expectations about what the season was supposed to be, the lead up to the winter solstice and Christmas became a time of reflection, simplicity, and quiet joy.
This year I spent Christmas day on my own, immersed in creativity, lightness, and a strong sense of belonging to my Self.
During my creative explorations, something jarred my memory and I went looking for a piece of writing I did years ago. I found it in a creative writing file on my computer and realized I wrote it over ten years ago.
This is an excerpt.
Once again I am in the mystery. In times past it was a fearful place. Now it intrigues and exhilarates me. One by one I am handed threads by a thought, an insight, the words of a friend; the thread offered because I invite them by asking questions and listening.
I am the intersection point of the two worlds, the connection between earth and heaven. I am the creator of my unique life tapestry. Mine is the hand that weaves the threads until patterns emerge, but what directs my hand is greater than me. With each thread, I’m guided to create the warp and weave of my life, and my current dance with the mysteries.
I’ve been in the mystery of the darkness before and I have no doubt I’ll be here again.
And I’ll be grateful for it.