“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
-Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
Solstice tidings to you!
It’s that time of year again. The Winter Solstice is upon us.
With the all the chaos happening around us in our world these days it’s so easy to forget that there is any sense of order at all. That anything is happening when it’s supposed to. That anything is predictable.
And then we look out our window and we’re reminded that no matter what amount of chaos, disorder, and uncertainty we create and deal with in the human realm, we are still nestled within the calm, orderly, predictability of nature herself.
Isn’t it fascinating that no matter how much we abuse the Earth, the seasons still change at the same time every year?
No matter how much our lives become a whirlwind of chaos, despair, unpredictability, there is still a deep quiet sereneness to a winter’s day?
A feeling of purity and divine perfection in the sparkling aftermath of a snowfall that catches the sun’s glimmering rays just so?
Isn’t it interesting how we forget that we too are a part of this?
Nature reminds us again and again of some of the wisest life lessons. We remember that life occurs in cycles: life, death, life; wax, wane, wax; light, dark, light.
We remember that “even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
And the Winter Solstice arrives every year on schedule in this darkest time of the year offering us that very reminder, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come: the return of Light. Not right now, but soon.
The return of light cannot be rushed because Nature moves not according to the wishes and will of human timing, but according to the perfection of Divine Timing.
Here in the north we may yearn for those carefree summer days when the woes of the world feel lighter, when the rays of the sun shine brighter. But we know that no matter how much we want to will it so, there is no rushing winter.
There is no rushing this much needed season of death, quietude, deep rest. It’s the very thing that allows the cycle to start all over again shiny, fresh-faced and new in the spring.
Nature makes no mistakes. There must be a period that ushers out the old in order to make space for the new. This is the only way that new life can start again.
Why do I get so excited about nature?
Because nature isn’t this thing that lives “out there” outside the glass and brick of our homes. We are nature, nature is us. We are a part of this grand perfection.
We just really, really forget sometimes.
Our being a part of nature bodes well for us. It means that no matter how bad things look in the human realm, no matter how convinced we are that we’ve finally broken the world – there is always hope.
Even the darkest night will end and sun will rise.
The Winter Solstice reminds us of this hope by beginning to bring just a tiny shred of light – completely imperceptible at first! – to each and every day.
Until one day in the future we look around and realize the landscape looks very different than it did that one woeful dark day when we believed we would never see the light again.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
And this darkness, this seeming brokenness of the world…maybe that was really just the thing that was needed.
We can finally see the cracks in everything. The cracks in our social systems, the cracks in our definition of healthcare, the cracks in our relationships, the cracks in the masks we wear in our efforts to fit into this mad place and gain acceptance.
I think the prevailing perspective is to see these cracks appearing everywhere and feel the fear, the overwhelm, the panic.
Oh shit, everything is falling apart.
But what if we looked at these cracks as our very way forward?
What if we saw the cracks as a much-needed part of the divine perfection of the plan?
“There is a crack, a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
Are you familiar with the concept “wabi sabi?” In its simplest form it is the appreciation of imperfection. “Kintsugi” is the Japanese art form of fixing broken pottery that is based on this concept.
In Kintsugi, the goal isn’t to repair the pottery using the least noticeable methods in order to bring the piece “back to normal;” instead the method uses a beautiful shimmering gold lacquer to create something new, to celebrate the cracks that allowed it to transform, to give it a second chance at an even more beautiful life.
Right now we have an opportunity in our lives, in our relationships, in our healthcare and social systems. We have the opportunity to employ the art of kintsugi – to celebrate these cracks as the doorway for the light.
To create a world, a relationship, a self, that isn’t based on desperately trying to hold onto the old – but one that celebrates the evolution of the pieces into something new, something even more resplendent than we ever thought possible.
I can see this world in the future. Can you see it? Imagine for just a moment…
There is a world that exists where every individual is empowered to know and own their unique gifts and play the role that only they are perfectly made for. In this world there is individual and societal balance and harmony, the only result possible when every person is aligned with their soul or highest Self.
There is a world that exists where relationships are revered as spiritual partnerships, where the immense triggering and painful excavation of wounds are held in deep reverence to the process of transformation. In this world partnerships are lovingly held in the supportive embrace of community and whether or not two individuals stay together or part ways, healing is the ultimate destination.
There is a world that exists where sickness and disease are understood as initiations of deep healing for the individual and the collective, where fighting disease and battling illness are replaced with understanding the lessons and welcoming the transformation. In this world the focus isn’t only on creating fancier and more expensive solutions to combat disease, but on preventing these ailments that are simply arrows pointing to deep imbalance in the first place by understanding the complex interplay of physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual root causes.
There is a world that exists where we do not fear growing old but instead celebrate growing into our wisdom, where aging isn’t a death sentence, and death isn’t a sentence at all but simply a transition to the next realm. In this world we do not hide our old to waste away but instead revere them as the vibrant stewards of what has come before and the sage guides on our journeys of life.
There is a world that exists where the focus of school is to transmit wisdom instead of facts and figures, where there is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning, where creativity, imagination and intuition are valued ways of knowing. In this world the young are not hushed but taught reverence, wisdom, discernment, and boldly encouraged to usher in the next iteration of the world, one that is always healthier, wiser, and more empowered than the one before.
I can see this world in the future, one that is infused with the light of wisdom, hope, and healing. Can you?
How can we ever get there?
First, challenge yourself to see it and believe it could be so. If we all hold the vision, our chances of getting there are much stronger together than alone.
Then, start by honoring the cracks – in our systems, in our relationships, and perhaps most importantly of all, in yourself.
Honor them as opportunities for healing, opportunities to dive into the darkness, into the sacred brokenness that beckons transformation, and to put the pieces back together not with plain old glue, but with shimmering golden lacquer.
Happy Winter Solstice – here’s to honoring the healing role of the darkness, celebrating the cracks, respecting the perfection of Nature and divine timing – and welcoming in the Light, in more ways than one.