Winter and the Moon of the New Year (and the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn)
Monday gratefuls: The Winter Solstice. 30 days. Cottagepie from Easy Entrees. Family. Friends. Lights. Jacquie Lawson’s Nordic Advent Calendar. Magic. In an old guy’s heart. Songs. Gifts. The wonder of children.
Ah. Can you sink into the darkness? Feel its fecund cape wrap round your shoulders? Comforting. Nourishing. Deep. Deep as the depths of your soul. Deep as the depths of time, even beyond time, to the Hawking period before the universe began to expand. Deep as the love you feel for those close to you. Deep as the bounty of mother earth is abundant.
The longest night. It comes to you. The sun low in the sky, the day shortened. Cold weather, perhaps. Early on in humanity’s adventure with the stars they knew. The sun had begun to flee. Even at the height of the growing season, on the summer solstice, the nights had begun to increase in length.
This gradual, oh so gradual, slipping away of the light. Would it continue until the night became all there was? How would the crops grow? The animals get fed? The people stay warm and fed?
But, yes, I imagine they also knew. Last year, too. And the sun returned. And the year before that. Let’s see if we can find the moment, capture the day. That way we can assure each other that the sun will not stay away. Let’s build monuments in stone and wood that capture the light of that day, or the position of the stars on that night.
New Grange. Stonehenge. Chaco Canyon. Goseck Circle. (Germany) Tulum.
This suggests to me that far from being frightened on this night of nights, the ancients anticipated it, probably looked forward to it. But, they also wanted to be sure it would happen again and again, so they spent vast resources ensuring they would know its arrival.
Can you imagine the celebratory feelings when, just as the stone alignments had predicted in the past, the sun came again through the slot, lined up with the stones? The shaman was right! We would get another growing season. See! Life could go on. Ancient science comforting the masses, just as contemporary science comforts us now with vaccines.
Never in my lifetime have we needed the message of the winter solstice more than this year, this 2020 of cursed memory. As the virus claims more lives, infects more people, remains dangerous especially in the richest nation on earth, we need a sign. Tonight is that sign.
Darkness need not lead to despair. These depths, this night, this virus, are not static. Just as fecund darkness enriches all plant life in the fallow season, so does the light of creation shine each year to enrich the plants in the green time. We know that because tonight teaches about darkness and its twin, the Summer Solstice, teaches us about light. Both necessary. Like the symbol of the Tao.
Rising right now, in the Covid darkness, vaccines have begun to dispel the fear and show us that yes, this pandemic can and will end. We are victims neither of darkness nor the glare of a sun that will not set. The earth teaches us this lesson every year. The Great Wheel turns and so do all the vagaries of life.