Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's Medicine: Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. Or the longest night. Either way, for me it's a place of extremes, where the night comes early each day. It's a time of rebirth of the light, for the days have been losing light steadily since MidSummer, though it will take time to feel like we're gaining any extra daylight. We haven't had any snow to speak of yet but I wouldn't be surprised if Mother Nature decided to gift us with some by the end of the year.

Last Winter I had a full blown Hermit fit. And it lasted forever- I didn't feel like I was truly fit for human consumption until well into April. Thank the gods above and below that this year is different. I've been practicing the balance between social joys and obligations and having the downtime necessary to recharge my inner fire. I haven't been completely successful but I certainly feel like I have a better grasp on things this year. I think part of my success so far this year is due to combining trips, as in tending numerous relationships on day trips. Another is keeping close tabs on where I am committing my time and energy. I have kept to my rule of staying home the first day off during week, tending hearth and home and keeping up with daily chores. And I have not been making any after work plans on the days that I'm working. By setting those limitations on myself I find I have more energy to give to my loved ones when I actually do see them. It's been a work in process and I'm pleased with the results so far.

I also tend to use Winter Solstice to set some structure for the coming season, which can be a challenging one for me. From now until Spring Equinox in March, I'll be caught between honoring the stillness of Winter while feeling the urge to begin what needs doing come Spring. I need to remember that the planning I do now will help me succeed once Spring actually comes. I also need to remember that REST is a really Good Thing(TM) so that I can be fully recharged for the Spring to come.

So from now until the end of the year, I will be doing a lot of journalling, clearing out the clutter in my physical and mental environments, and setting intentions for what I wish to put forward and receive during the coming seasons. That way, when the chaos of the holy-days finally settles a bit I will have prepared a way for the New Year to unfold. Or is that for me to unfold in the New Year? Either way works for me...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today's Medicine: Call of the Wild

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."– President Lyndon B. Johnson, on the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964

I know I'm an armchair pagan, at least half the time. Instead of walking outside into the wonderful world of nature, I'll sit inside with a cup of tea and watch the birds at my feeder. Yet this quote strikes a chord within me, touches the wild green woman who lives deep underneath the technologically savvy person I am today. It helps me see the world with my other eyes, through the eyes of the untamed being who shares my skin. And I am truly grateful for the reminder.