"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory."
— Gary Zukav
I’m not the kind of person who can talk to you about signs and stars and what the universe is telling us through them. I know that I’m a Libra, but that’s about it. If there was another zodiac sign rising at the time of my birth, I’d be inclined to guess it’s the one that likes red velvet cake.
That being said, there is something about the Winter Solstice that both intrigues and comforts me. I realize that I’m one of few who will say this, but I like the darkness. Especially when it’s cold outside. It gives me an excuse to come home, put on pajama pants, make some soup, and sit on my couch. In the winter, I become quite skilled at doing nothing.
Every year I go to a friend’s solstice party where we are encouraged to embrace the dark in order to bring in the light. So many people dislike the shorter days and longer nights, which I totally understand. But I also appreciate the fact that sometimes we need to dive deeper in order to grow. Growth – whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual – can be a painful process. And sometimes that process is better served under the cloak of darkness, within a cocoon, by one’s self.
Every year around this time, my son spends Christmas out of town with his dad. When this first started about 10 years ago, it was torturous for me. I hated being alone in my apartment, and I did whatever I could to keep busy. One week I saw five movies in four days just so I wouldn’t have to be by myself. But little by little, I started to sit with my discomfort and spend more time alone at home. I cooked food that my son doesn’t like, I devoured books that I’m embarrassed to read in front of other people, and, yes, I put on comfy pants at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and called it a day. Now I use that week to take care of myself, recharge before the new year begins, and eat dessert before dinner. (You didn’t think it was all about self-reflection, did you?)
So, even though the Winter Solstice was officially yesterday, I hope that you allow yourself time in the weeks ahead to at least recognize, if not embrace, the darkness. The light will seem so much brighter after that.
Wishing you a happy Solstice and a wonderful holiday season!