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Winter solstice night is the longest night of the year. It is the time when the darkness is at its strongest. The world is deep in its winter slumber, and many creature have withdrawn into their dens to escape and protect themselves from the frosty grip of winter. This slumber is important, for it allows all living things time to rejuvenate. It is this time of rest that conserves and builds the energies that will be expended in the active pursuits of life later on.
And while solstice night marks the peak of this time of contraction and conservation, it also marks the turning point. For this long, dark night shall end with the rising sun, adn that moment will hail the decreasing rein of darkness. The days to come shall then grow a bit longer in turn, and the sun’s warming influence, though imperceptible at first, shall likewise grow and strengthen. In the months to come, we will see what was started with that first fragile sunrise.
For now, we wait in eager anticipation of that first morning, haling the change it represents and the new life it promises. And we turn inward to see what may be stirring anew in our own lives. For like the trees and animals, we also experience times of withdrawal and contraction. Like them, we too need those times of deep rest and rejuvenation. And as with the longest night, there comes a time when something stirs within ourselves to let us know there is new life and growth to be experienced. Our time of rest is not eternal.
So let us anticipate an end of our own withdrawal and time of silence this solstice as well. Let us become aware of that inner stirring that speaks of new projects, new celebrations, and new goals to come. Let us welcome that fragile awakening and nourish it so that we too may become active and lively in the days and months to come.