I took a photo from the edge of my deck. There had been a heavy fog and tree branches were encrusted in hoar frost and it was still before sunrise, as it is for so many hours in the winter, and everything was in deep shadow.
The photo reminds me that during times of deep shadow across the land, colour also vanishes and things become very black and grey and blue. In fact, a lone rose hip with its bright winter red seems to glow against its somber neighbours. Even the very muted tan colours of dried grasses or a few stubborn leaves clinging to tree branches have a prominence I would never notice at other times. When I normally look out onto the winter landscapes around me my mind’s eye adds colours that come from the memories of times when the sun was higher in the skies and the light was not filtered for such a long distance through the atmosphere, when colour and life and warmth were everywhere around me. I guess my mind saved those colour memories just as we save food from the good times of the summer abundance, giving us something to feed on during the long winters. The same with my colour memories of the land; those memories nourish my soul during the dark days of mid winter.
And then there is Solstice! When things slowly start to get brighter and we move on to a time when we can create new memories of the gifts of Father Sun, and once more store some of that profligate abundance within mind and pantry.
Just as we reach deep within to bring forward memories of colour and warmth and fill the woodbox with firewood to stay alive, it is also from within that we need to reach to bring forward the light to dispel the darkness of Spirit that we experience. We have been gifted during the summers of our lives enabling us to reach into that treasure trove to bring forward the light and warmth and Spirit Food that this world so badly needs. I guess this is why the early Christians selected the winter solstice to remember and celebrate the Incarnation of Emmanuel.
Happy Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of all the good things our Creator, the Earth and our friends will bring to us. Reach deep within your own Spirit and the Spirit of those who care about you, and find the memories of light and warmth to support you until those brighter days arrive.