Lisa and I have an ongoing joke, wherein whenever we eat or drink something that tickles the back of our throat, causing us to cough uncontrollably, we ironically say “I’m dying.” Speaking of which, as the days have grown shorter and darker approaching the Winter Solstice, it seems to me I’ve been feeling death in my bones. I’ve been experiencing in my body a deep sorrow and angst. While it’s unlike anything I’ve felt before, a bit confusing, and I’m not sure if there’s something specific I’m to let die, I do believe I’m hearing with my heart something collective and primal, the rhythm of nature.
On the subject of connecting with nature and the solstice, did you know for well over a thousand years Christmas and the Winter Solstice were on the same day? They’re both a celebration of darkness and death, because when we embrace these normal aspects of life with arms wide open something magical occurs. We become more whole and free. When we go WITH the flow of nature life becomes more beautiful and blissful, as darkness and death are the fertile soil for growth and transformation.
Joseph Campbell said the point of life is to match our heartbeat up with the beat of the universe, which requires dancing IN the dark, instead of running around it. My Christian tradition isn’t alone in identifying a gorgeous garden as our intended space, which is why Christmas and the solstice celebrate the season of decay and dark, it’s the necessary precursor to Spring’s eruption of new life. So, today I invite us to live into the season by becoming more aware of, appreciative for, and connected to nature, perhaps even letting something in our lives fall and die like the leaves from the trees.
Grace and peace,