on the longest night
settle into the darkness
find your light within
Somehow it seems that each time the world starts to gear up for the next level of “returning to the world,” the coronavirus pandemic rushes back in with a new variant.
So here we are, again.
And once again, I can’t help but notice the timing. The omicron variant is heating up just in time for the winter solstice.
From the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve asserted that this virus was here to teach us a lesson. The pandemic began in the depths of winter, a season that our culture tends to eschew.
We don’t rest. We don’t pause. We don’t honor stillness. The virus came to shut us down, a forced stillness.
The end of December is the time of year when we are often busy running around, consuming, collecting, buying. Now the virus has raged back, putting a damper on plans and forcing us into rest once again.
At every turn, it is asking us to take our cues from nature.
With each new piece of news, the situation only feels more dire.
If you’re tired, it’s with good reason.
Don’t underestimate the energy required to protect yourself in the face of a threat. Monitoring the news, keeping track of changing mandates and policies, ensuring you have your masks — this constant vigilance activates the nervous system’s fight or flight response.
That heightened level of activation isn’t meant to be be on all the time. It steals resources from other functions.
Of course you’re tired. How could you not be tired when your inner alarm system is always on?
Enter the Winter Solstice, just in time.
The longest night of the year, Winter Solstice calls us home, and invites us to rest.
To sleep, perchance to dream, as Shakespeare wrote.
Sleep can’t come when the nervous system is on high alert.
Winter solstice invites us to the solitude and silence of the darkness, where we can let down our guard. We can put down the armoring, peel off the masks, and find a sense of safety that tells the body it’s ok to give into slumber.
Winter Solstice also marks a turning point.
The darkest night comes just before the dawn.
From here on out the days get longer. We get more light.
But first, we must embrace the darkness to find the light within.
Winter Solstice is the perfect time to give into slumber, to unplug from technology, sit in the darkness, and come home to yourself.
Trust that brighter days are coming.