As the long night slowly yields to day,
We too, yield to our higher nature and move toward
Our natural state of Light.
The winter teaches us to go within and contemplate,
Our inner work,
Our inner abundance,
Our inner completeness.
As we prepare for the outer learning that lies ahead,
We reflect on both the natural and spiritual nature of
What is meant by Eternal Life.
Why do we instinctively feel the pull of introspection in winter; the need to hibernate, examine and assess what is good? When we take some time to examine what has worked for us, we can’t help but to notice even more; has not.
Each winter, as the days grow shorter and colder and increased demands for our attention the Holidays ahead, I remain cognizant of a need for inner calm. The year is ending and I notice and remember what has ended in time.
People I have loved and been loved by have passed away or passed on. Certainties and verities that seemed real and true seem now shaken, less clear, less confident. What was, is no more, what is, keeps charging for better or worse. Where do we find the promised glad tidings of comfort and joy?
First we must delve within acknowledge then release our sorrows, failures, disappointments and mistakes. We make the effort to transcend any thoughts that detract and distract us from our ability to grasp and feel gratitude for the blessings that surely exist for each of us.
In our clan of northern European Scots/Irish/Swedish decent, we gather in the waning light each Winter Solstice for ceremony and celebration. We perform the ritual of ‘shriving’, an old Scottish word meaning: release, reconciliation. We spend some moments of quiet in the midst of festivity, to recollect, contemplate and write privately all that we personally wish to release for the year ending. We notice deeply how we have been affected, have perhaps affected others, by that which now begs to be released. We forgive our perceived failings and regrets. We write rather than simply think these things because we wish to bring our thoughts and vows into present manifestation in order to transform them by fire. We commit our scribbled slips of paper where we have confessed our personal pain, that which no longer serves us, with appreciation for the learning it brought and release into the hearth fire.
We reflect on the natural and spiritual nature
of what is meant by eternal life.
But, we are a hopeful resilient clan as well. As we continue, we begin to contemplate what we can bring to the Light in the New year arriving. We light a candle and speak aloud our own prayer, wish, desire, goal or intentions to make manifest and be witnessed within our community of family of friends gathered in love and support of one another. Each one speaks their heart. It is a high and holy moment to be witnessed and blessed by the ones who love us most.
We yield to our higher nature and move toward
Our natural state of Light.
There is reverence, there is community and there is reveling! The table is laden with the bounty of our kitchens, joyful toasts to life and love, family and friends and to the future are enjoyed by all. This is how we ignite the longest night and begin our Christmas Holidays: with gratitude, hugs and kisses, prayers and festivity that continue all the way through to Epiphany.
And thus, the Old is laid to rest and the New is begun.
God Bless Us One and All and bring us Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy In This Season of New HOPE!