Solstice finds me in the northern land of my birth, in a small lakeside cottage enveloped by a thick, relentless darkness that gives way to only a couple of hours of light in the middle of the day. I can think of no better place to truly feel the season in my bones: the withdrawal of the light, as all of nature seems to be standing still and the cycle of growth comes to a halt — and then, the breaking of winter’s back and the symbolic lighting of flames in the celebrations we are now entering. Inside the cottage, it’s warm and cozy, the candles and the fireplace are lit, some very special treats are being prepared in the kitchen, and I am surrounded by my family whom I see all too rarely. This is our little fortress of light in the darkness, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
I have also taken this time to work through the Solstice reflections that have by now become an annual tradition. These are always powerful questions: What experiences or magical moments stand out from this past year? What do I need to let go of, forgive, release, or compost in order to move on? What intentions do I feel called to plant for the next year that will help me keep moving towards what I see possible — for myself, my family, my community, and the world? It never ceases to fascinate me what answers emerge during this date with myself. Much to be thankful for, much to look forward to, much to affirm my commitment to.