Of the two solstices and two equinoxes that we on earth are graced with each year, the winter solstice is most meaningful to me. It occurs full of promise and hope at precisely the right time. Just when we, in the Northern Hemisphere become aware that we are in for the long, cold, dark haul, the shortest day comes along. The sun is at its lowest elevation in the sky. That only means that from now on, the only way is up! One more minute of daylight added on each day. Now, that demands a celebration.
From time immemorial, mankind has observed this hibernal solstice with rituals and ceremony. Ancient cultures have passed on to us festivals and holidays. What a beautiful thread of human connection through the ages. As modern as we think of ourselves today, these passages of the sun still mark our seasons, determine when we sow our crops and how we live. All of life moves in concert with the sun.
The renewal of light and the approach of the new year fuels our human need to stay optimistic. The Romans referred to this solstice as Dies Natalis – the birth day of the sun. A birthday calls for a party. I like that. I, for one, will honor our humanity and rejoice in my humanness. My link to all those who came before me and my responsibility to those who are yet to arrive. On this sacred occasion, I reaffirm my pact to do right by nature and all who live here.
Bring on the feast, start the music, invite the world as together we light up a million candles and brighten the hearts of all.