“The word solstice derives from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) since to the ancients the sun did seem to stand still. With nature dormant all around us, this is a good time for us to also be still, quiet and rest; a time to reflect on the passing year and as the light begins to return after the shortest day, a time to renew our inner light and focus.
From the most Ancient Days, our ancestors have gathered at Winter Solstice to witness the rebirth of the unconquerable Sun at first light, moving from its long gestation to triumph over the darkness. The divine light gathers strength to bring new hope, peace and joy. Whispering life’s secrets into awakening dormant seeds with the warmth of love and the mysteries of spirit.
We rekindle the turning of the year from its dark coals, to guide and sustain us as we journey through the coldest times, honoring the rebirth of the inner light within ourselves.” ~ author unknown
I finish with Fra Giovanni’s letter (1513), which conveys my feelings so well:
“I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.”
And to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, have a pleasant summer!