Hey, everyone. Like a lot of people, I welcome the solstice. It’s a magical, powerful time. The longest night is a time of stillness and reflection. When my kids were younger it was always such a mad dash to the finish line of Christmas day, and the solstice would come and go without much notice. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, but I’m grateful now for the quiet, for time to think and dream and be still. The long, dark nights of winter are my reminder of the ebb and flow of the seasons, and of my life. I arrange a small space in the corner of my room and light a candle, recite my gratitudes, and set intentions for the coming year. And, of course, read a little poetry. I am grateful for all of you, and hope you find peace and happiness through the darkness and light of the coming year.
Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.