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Dear Biddy,

Today is the winter solstice, from now on every day will get longer and colder. It is a time to go inside, deep, to incubate and hibernate. In the dark spaces of rest and interiority new shoots will form and find their way from the underworld towards the sunlight. The cycle of the seasons are a constant reminder of the great narrative driving our human and planetary story.

I wonder how you marked the winter solstice Biddy? December heralds a time of renewal, where dreams are midwifed to birthed in the spring. A time to bury in the ground what needs to be hidden and decay to feed new life.

I once wrote that I want jonquils planted on my grave as they flower in the winter time and I want my life is a sign of hope. The heady perfume of the jonquils in the garden this time of year forecast the spring long before any other signs.

Showered with beams of light in the smiles and laughter of those I have met on the path between my home, the market and the high street of Willunga this day will keep me warm through the dark and long night. The solstice is a half-way mark in our journey through the tunnel, and at this half-way mark, we can take stock. The word solstice comes from the Latin duet of words – sol meaning sun and sistere meaning to stand still. The experience of time standing still is what the solstice is all about. A time to enter the dark of night and discover what might be in that space.

To echo a recent blog post, I invoke TS Eliot:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

This still point may well be the winter solstice – holding the moment where the dance moves crystallise and synthesise – just as the eye of the storm is the quietest place, while all the winds, whirl and swirl around that central fixed point.

In my meditation and yoga practice, thoughts chitter and chatter in my head. I need to adopt a solstice position.

To allow the stillness to come like the sun to shine and stand still for a moment, dispensing light in single beams and to find me stationary soaking up the precious limited light to sustain me through the longest night. To solstice maybe to align with the universe, to stand still long enough to come back into sync with the cycles and the season. A lesson not lost in the hubba bubba that threatens to seduce me to disconnect from the Brother Sun and Sister Moon dance across the sky: I will solstice.

 

M 74, Grand Design, Hubble Telescope

M 74, Grand Design, Hubble Telescope

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