I find approaching the Winter Solstice each year, a very frustrating time…there is all the frantic gearing-up for Christmas and its attendant spending-fest which one gets dragged into – just when I wish to sink into the fertile spaces of the dark inner world.
This time asks to be honoured with retreat, contemplation, awareness of how essential the hidden fertility of darkness is to the eventual emergence of new life. Perhaps we especially need to be reminded of that ancient truth during a time of great turmoil and darkness for our world, and of our own individual losses, pains and disappointments.
The great religions at core, have their ways of honouring this annual point of deepest darkness, then the slowly re-emerging light. My small way of doing it is by finding some quiet time, by seeking out a poem which speaks to me at ‘… the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight…’ – and by sharing it.
I hope my choice of winter solstice poem for 2021 strikes a chord with at least some of my Followers:
“…This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath, the door
of a vanished house left ajar…”
― Margaret Atwood, Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995
( North West Scotland, Arisaig shoreline, Solstice sunset, December 2018: photo by Anne Whitaker. )
Sun enters Capricorn at 16.00 GMT 21.12.2021
400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2021