The Reason for the Season

Regardless of your cultural traditions, personal beliefs, religious affiliations (or lack thereof); I believe December 21st is the most important day for all to celebrate. Winter Solstice is a time of great meaning and spiritual importance for our lives. In my opinion, it is the most sacred of all holy-days this month. It is a mystical time to make a connection with what’s going on in nature and to reconnect deep within. It is a time to honor our traditions, ancestors, and our beliefs. Solstice is a naturally quiet time of year in which to offer prayers of intention for bringing into fruition our hopes and dreams for the future.

The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium. Sol, means “sun” and -stitium, means “stoppage.” The sun actually stops for a brief moment in time on the solstice. Think about it…it’s the longest, stillest, and darkest time of the year. It is a perfect time to take a cue from nature and stop to reconnect with what is truly important; therein lies the greatest gift of all. Interpretations of annual holy-day events vary from culture to culture. However, most traditions behold a celebration of (re)birth, festivals/rituals, and gatherings that  include  gifts. Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the original meaning of gift-giving was to gift Creator with praise, acknowledgement, and recognition? Or to offer gratitude for the gifts received in previous seasons? Or maybe to honor loved ones who have gifted us by once being in our lives, even though they may no longer be alive on earth? Many of us are preoccupied with shopping and fighting crowds, running up credit card bills, and stressing out about all sorts of external events. We have become too busy to truly appreciate the spiritual gift of the longest night of the year. When was the last time you consciously and meaningfully stopped for a period of time (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour, an entire evening) to intimately reconnect with TRUE friends/family (not just FB friends), or to focus on your own spirit/soul? Have you acknowledged the gifts from your past lately? The joyful as well as the painful situations that brought you to this point in your life? Have you taken sacred time to create a vision for your future; thereby gifting yourself with hope and promise of new life; or a renewed spiritual light?

It is no coincidence that various cultures  have some commonality among their traditions: lights, candles, gifts, and so on. I urge you to be mindful and not lose the true meaning of this season. As a people we are bound by our humanity, and yet, as seen in the news, we trample one another for the best deal on some thing!  I feel it is immensely valuable for us all to reunite on a spiritual level, and to use this season of stillness as a time to reconnect, both externally and internally.

Make the holy-day you celebrate in December a time to stop and get in touch with what is actually going on in the world, in your community, in your family, and in your heart. Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. This is yet another signal from nature to keep hope alive in our hearts and to pray for a brighter future.

I feel a little like Lucy from the Peanuts…”And that’s what winter is all about Charlie Brown!”

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