This post was originally published 10 Dec 2015 and is being shared in the spirit of the season as I travel and take a winter break. This year rather than feeling pushed by last minute demands, I’m on the road to visit family and taking a break from weekly writing. Although the events are different this year, I take with me the desire to honor the season and create my own prelude to the Winter Solstice.
All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)
This week amidst a community controversy in which the board that I chair is being challenged, I’ve felt out of sync with the season and out of sorts with myself. I want to stop. I want to stop not just for a few minutes to catch my breath, center myself and move on to the next task or conversation, but I want to STOP and BE the winter. Quiet. Still. Peaceful.
My time for that will come. I feel her on the horizon. Until then, there are ‘miles to go before I sleep’ in these last days of autumn before that moment when heaven and earth synchronize at the Winter Solstice. I know without a doubt that I will be there.
I know too that I alone am responsible for choosing how I walk through the tasks along those miles. I choose calm, confident, clear, kind as my foundation. These are grounded in love. My choice is simple; implementation, not always easy. Often when I’m challenged, fear interrupts and invites me to its prickly path of tension, harshness, unkind words spoken and not. Too much of the world is on that path. I don’t want to be a part of that crowd.
And, so I pause. Make time for a long morning walk with Luke to visit a favorite spot along the creek. I ignore the ringing phone and resist the temptation to see what new jab is posted on Facebook. I pick up Gregge’s booklet Winter Solstice. I find this message, perfect to remind me of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring:
There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.
No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,
In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.
And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)