For me, Yule and Christmas is the season of Light for me. I will explain more in a minute. But I go through something every fall and this year was no different. It is like a tunnel that gets narrower as I travel through it. In the past, this season has included being very sick. The only time I have been in the hospital is in the late fall. And then whatever the diagnosis, it simply goes into remission or in one case, I had to have surgery. That was three years ago in December when I had my gallbladder removed. But I had a series of “itis” that landed me in there in the fall: pancreatitis, and diverticulitis. Funny, but my brother just had the same thing happen to him and had surgery. My parents also became gravely sick in the late fall and both finally succumbed to their illnesses in January, dying three days and three years apart and on floors three apart.
Fall used to be my favorite season. I got married the first time in October because I loved the colors and because fall always represented the season of nesting for me. That feeling is gone and replaced with a sense of loss and a sense of death. I hate when my garden has its first heavy frost and I awake to shriveled and melted plants. I sense the bareness of the trees and usually we have mud and frozen ground with no life anywhere. Even the animals are gone for most part. I do not want to be labor the point that fall is not a good time for me.
Now to the Solstice and what this time of year means to me. And I mean specifically the time between the Solstice and the New Year. After all the Christmas hype; the blaring commercials and the crowds of nasty people, this is the time of focused joy for me. I am done with my gift purchasing and I enjoy the wrapping of the presents. I usually take time off and have a leisurely time to bake and make the ton of candy I produce as gifts. The house is decorated and I may add a few touches if I feel like it. There is no lack of decorations and I always get more.
All this is fine and dandy, but it is superficial. What really happens starting tonight is the celebration of the renewal of life. To me, the Solstice is the key factor. The light will begin to change and I have already noticed and felt the very slight change. Most people only relate to the lack of light. I relate to the change in color. There is life in the color. The color that happens in July is the addition of blue to the light. The color becomes cold long before the actually temperature change. The light now shifts to reds and pinks and there is a whisper of hope that all will survive and renew. I begin the anticipation of the physical spring but internally there is rejuvenation and spirit change that says, “Breathe, it will be fine.”
The walls of the tunnel begin to relax and I truly see the light at the end. I have a specific tree I pass every day on the way to work. It sets its leaves very early and the large buds look like closed tulips. In the morning light, they reflect pink which is my favorite color. They are set already and the tree just produced them this week. They are a harbinger of spring and have been for the past seven years since I first noticed the tree. I am not sure what the tree is and it is common, but this particular tree sits on the side of the road and the morning light hits it perfectly. I should stop and take a picture. I have lived upstate for over fifty years, so I know that spring will truly not be here until May, but I can hold on to the dream. It makes me smile when I see this tree.
Tonight I will celebrate the change in the Light. I also will celebrate my nuptials with my husband of seven years. This fall, things looked very bad for the union and I was preparing to separate myself from an unpleasant arrangement. However, he began counseling and things seem to have changed for the better. He seems to be so much happier after his tunnel pretty much collapsed and took me with it. He lost his job; albeit a job he despised but it was a failure of sorts for him. He went back to subbing and the teaching has been therapeutic for him. Years of anger had piled up and the result was a very unhappy man who had lost his love of everything. I see much hope for a better future and I think he would agree. The old me would have tolerated the situation as it was and also become miserable beyond repair. But I fought for a solution although the toll was high while we were in our tunnels. I am trying not to have expectations but to take things as they come. But the man I married seems to have returned and so I will celebrate that.
My sleep will also return to a more restful and uninterrupted state. Last night I had a dream that I was standing on this driveway that was in the air very high up. There was nothing under it but ether. It was filled with holes so deep that if you fell into one, you would fall into the void and disperse. The tarmac and supports were dissolving as I stood there with some other people. But I had no sense of fear. I was calm and knew where to step but me as the dreamer was concerned for me the person in the dream. It does not take a lot to figure out the meaning of this one.
So when I said in the beginning this was a season of Light, the meaning of course is dualistic. I mean the physical light and the spiritual Light. Without shame, I admit that I struggle with feeling whole and loving when I am going through a period of disruption and strife. I feel disconnected and not centered. I want to hide and I am depleted and unable to be the person I really want to be. I have learned a lot about myself in the past year and a half. I understand more than I used to and know that I am not perfect nor should I attempt to be. I know that troubles are there to learn from and grow and accept. Every time I walk through a black period, I become stronger and will be a better person for it. So I am glad to feel it shifting but I do feel more accepting for the lessons learned. I feel stronger and that is all I am going to say.
I am going to take pictures today of my decorations and I hope my fellow bloggers will do the same and we can all share our pictures. I am hoping to add a few more lights outside as it is over 40 degrees today. They are calling for an ice storm tonight. We have had some real douzzies in the past. My sense is that it will not happen to the extreme of what they are calling for. But we are prepared anyways, or will be. I have a stove/fireplace downstairs and some fake logs. We have candles forever and food for an army and the gas grill has a new tank on it. All will be fine.
And tonight, whatever the weather, I will smudge the house to remove the negativity that seems to have settled in the corners. I will light candles and look to the Light. I wish for everyone to take a moment tonight, breathe the change that has started to happen and celebrate the renewal of life filled with joy and love. That is my hope for us all. Namaste.