Winter Solstice

A couple notes for the year:

At night, just as I’m falling asleep, I enter something I can only describe as a visual portal. It’s like a long cylinder of memory and I get flashes, HD quality, of images from my past. I used to worry that it was some kind of life review, but now I relax into it. It is almost as if my mind is trying to lead me into dream. A portal to another realm. 

Often, it’s the birds I see. The bright red eye of the Towhee, the deep blue wing of the Stellars jay. I get glimpses of crazy green coot feet and the thin white eyebrow of the Bewick’s wren. My mountain trips come back to me too, the snow blowing in circles, deep steps cracking the crunchy outer layer. And civil twilight returns even as I wake to nothing but solid grey sky. 

The last time I walked at the refuge I noticed the gold-crowned sparrows were no longer flying off as I walked by. Whether they feel safer with my familiar passage or they are just too dang busy to bother moving, isn’t important. The fact that we both feel a belonging is sweet. An unspoken trust that we will tread lightly in this place and keep to our own path. There is safety when we make do no harm our priority. 

That treading lightly is an odd theme for this year. I feel like I’ve done a balancing act so as not to engage or incite, but I have some strong feelings I’ve been pushing down. Bewildered by the actions of so many, my anger is finally bubbling up closer to the surface. It’s a bit like a geyser if you’re looking for the visual cue. 

So, what to do with it?

I’d like to say I have directed it into art, that I am seeking and finding creative outlets, but I think I am just stuffing it back in and letting it morph into whatever it will be. In meditation, those angry thoughts come at me like swords, not breezes. I am letting them go by, but they graze me, and I am not unaware of the discomfort. 

I AM letting them go by though, that’s the headline. But here’s the other thing: For those not willing to do everything they can to protect themselves and others, my feelings may be forever altered. An inevitable consequence. I’ve made peace with that, too.

This morning at 7:59 am, as Winter Solstice arrived, I drew my cards for this season of winter. Joanna Powell Colbert is the creator of this beautiful Gaian Tarot deck. Both gorgeous and intuitive, it’s my favorite.

“make a vow when solstice comes
to find the light in everyone
keep the faith and bang the drum
on the longest night of the year”

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Here was my Solstice spread.  

Those runes, I use them too. And the tiny Jizo statues (guardians of the vulnerable) were gifts that arrived yesterday and I am so filled with love and gratitude for the sender. I met Debra Bures through my blog and it feels as though I have known her forever. She made the tiny white-rattle birds that hold some of Gus’s ashes. But mostly, she has been a constant light in these oddly dark times. A beam. You can find her on Facebook at Elements Studios. A beautiful heart, this one ❤

I will share my thoughts on this Solstice spread and another I will do later tonight, in a year end blog post. For now, I will find deep gratitude for the light, in all of the many forms it takes to reach me.

Happy Solstice with Love. 

Pure light, this one 💫

14 Comments on “Winter Solstice

  1. Happy Solstice. I have been out of town so this is a bit late. Have loved your work year round.

  2. Happy solstice. It dawned pink and clear here and the arboretum gifted us with a Cooper’s hawk sighting, thrilling us all, but especially the now 10 year old birder in the family. She is an excitement driver, even when my own skies are gray. You seem to have a wealth of drivers of your own that will get you through. And I love that birds are the afterimage burned into your vision when you close your eyes. Enjoy your entry/entries into the new season.

    • I so wish I would have had the care and curiosity at 10 to begin my birding life. She impresses me so. And a Cooper’s Hawk!! I have to say that the visitation of so many birds when I close my eyes is astonishing! Cheers to Solstice and to the returning light. So glad you’re here.

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