Longest Solstice night
Shepherds, kings and angels’ wings
herald newborn light
Winter Solstice is the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. But no matter where one lives, the deepening darkness of humanity’s hubris penetrates to the bone. Any hope for peace on earth, goodwill to all has been debunked as dishearteningly as a maturing child’s belief in Santa Claus. Like our ancient ancestors, we feel an unsettling anxiety as we wonder when…how…if …the light will return.
At this time of year around the globe, people are celebrating festivals of light. Whether it’s St. Lucia’s Day in Sweden, Saint Maarten’s in Holland, the Jewish festival of Hannukah, Diwali in India, Christmas in celebration of Jesus’s birth, Lord Krathong in Thailand, or Kwanzaa in the US, humanity symbolically expresses a profound longing to bring light into the encompassing darkness. Historically, different ethnic and religious groups have overlaid this natural cyclical time of darkness with cultural and theological interpretations. Sadly, these interpretations often become divisive when one group attempts to make its belief system normative for all.
Where can we find common ground? What can unite us in the midst of our growing diversity?
As sons and daughters of Mother Earth, it is the cyclical liturgy of the seasons that is the most basic and natural context of our lives. Returning to attunement with the great turning of the wheel of the seasons invites us into connection with the very ground of our being. Celebrating the natural rhythms of the waxing and waning of the light which sustains all life on our planet home, has the potential to restore a sense of our place in the cosmos. Within the great cathedral of nature’s cyclical dance we are one family.
Whatever holiday you celebrate at his time of the year, let us salute the returning light.
I salute the light that you bring to the world.
Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Joyous Yule!
©Yvonne M. Lucia 2014