It’s easy for us to think about what we lose. And we lose a lot in winter. As we watch the trees lose their leaves, the days lose daylight, and the earth lose warmth, we can feel that sense of loss deeply. This is before we endure painful personal losses. Our happy holiday celebrations remind us of those who are no longer with us. Even the gift giving can remind us that we are not able to give according to our desires.
So when I stumbled across the phrase the abundance of winter solstice it really gave me pause. Midwinter can be painfully bleak. In what ways is it abundant?
The answers came quickly and easily. The coping mechanisms we engage to deal with the darkness demonstrate hope in the future and joy in the present. We don’t usually call them coping mechanisms, though. They are integral parts of our Christmas traditions. When we light candles, string up twinkly lights, and feast on sumptuous foods with friends and family, we make our spirits joyful, we shoo away the dark, and we remind ourselves that the cold, dark winter is only a part of life, not the entirety.
There are also beautiful depths to be plumbed from the darkness. It is an invitation to slow down and turn inward. I like to think of it as a reset button from a busy year. This seasonal voyage into darkness provides the opportunity to rest and reflect.
There’s beauty in the dark as well as the light.