Long nights

Winter solstice 2020 in Northern Hemisphere was at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, December 21—today.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. I just got all science-y. It’s a special day. From this day forward until June the days will slowly stretch out and get longer and longer.

In the days leading up to Solstice I’ve been waking around 6:30 am. It’s pitch black, like the middle of the night. I pray, meditate, working on my manifesting and drift in and out of sleep in the darkness of the morning if I’m too tired to get going. Eventually I do get out of bed—always—in the dark. I don’t turn on lights. It’s a shock to my eyes. I manage my way around my familiar space. I do sun salutations without any sun. While I prep breakfast I watch the sun come up and observe the daylight arrive—turn from night to day. The sunrise rarely disappoints.

There is something so dreamy about that transition of watching the earth cross over from dark to light. Dull and barely fragrant feelings of love interests I stayed up all night with nurturing potential relationships, heart fluttering, tuned right in to another’s breath and body. It’s the feeling that’s present with no specific memory. Rekindled with the watching of the sunrise these mornings. Precious.

This time of day also reminds me of the buzz of early morning flights and road trips beginning in the dark and ending in the light. Beautiful adventures. Beautiful feelings. Daylight. Transitions from a place of dark comfort, to a glowing firelight of sky—day. Or those times in art school where I stayed up all night painting, creating, and then shuffling off for a breakfast and a sleep while everyone else was starting. It’s a magic time.

Night shift workers—leaving their jobs at the crack of dawn, in the silence of the early morning. Tired. Relieved. Again, a different kind of energy—that night time thing shifting into day. The collective is dreaming…still. They’ve put their frustrations, their anxieties, their fears to bed but a select few are awake to experience the quiet of a slow Solstice dawn. All that buzz is still down for the night. It’s a stillness and a decompression. It’s necessary and maybe that’s part of what makes the dawn feel so exciting. So good. A new day. Hope.

This is the blessing of short days and long nights in my part of the world. That daily reminder that we are all headed into light. The extended metaphor of hope with another day, being in the transition of it, watching the sky turn, seeing the world around us wake from dark to light, mute to color, quiet to hum.

And just like that night folds up on us shortly after supper and we too, fold up into our homes a little more sedentary then we will be six months from now. But let’s accept the current rest. The change. The quiet. Let’s use this time for some reflection and repose.

Let’s take a moment to really look at the sunset and the sunrise as they pull away from each other everyday after this.

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