Less Noise, More Green: Winter Solstice: rhythm and light

Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Solstice: rhythm and light



As a child, I remember being aware of the changing seasons. Those changes influenced my outdoor play and were milestones during the school year. As I grew up, I stopped noticing the natural world and the truth is it wasn't until I became a gardener that I found that connection again. Watching nature in action, along with my efforts to grow and nurture plants, made me open my eyes and see again the awesomeness of our world and how the earth has patterns that influence us all.

Saturday was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.  Signifying the return of light into the world and with it the hope of life, this day is acknowledged all over the world and has been for 6,000 years.





I heard somewhere the phrase 'honoring the earth's seasonal rhythms.' I love that.  As gardeners we try to mimic these rhythms. Once you see how amazing it is to grow food and how easy it is for it all to go wrong, you can understand why our ancestors marked this day as sacred. Winter Solstice held the promise of better things to come, but the dark days of winter still lay ahead and with it the reality that not all would see the spring. It was a time to feast on what had been saved for the winter months and to trust in the return of the life giving sun that would shine longer each coming day.



This year, to honor the earth's seasonal rhythm, we had a small ceremony at dinner with visiting family. I made a center piece from greenery, holly and pine cones I found in the garden and surrounded it with six candles - the number of us at the table. We shut off all the lights, then one by one we lit a candle making a wish for the coming year and filling the room with more light. As I lit the candle in the center we all made a wish for the earth.


It seems fitting that this is my 100th post. As I look into the future for this blog, I see the hope of good things to come. Thank you to all of you who have supported me on this journey and I hope you will continue to visit me here through the coming dark days of winter! My wish for us all is to see the  light ahead and to trust in the wisdom of the earth's seasonal rhythms. She's been doing this for a while.

 Sue