Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, which means after midnight tonight, more light will return each day until the summer solstice. The winter solstice is often seen as a time of rebirth, or reawakening, as its associated with the return of light. It's a time when people traditionally set intentions for the coming year, and also a time to let go of the old. It's when we let the light in, and let go of the darkness. I think of it as a quiet celebration, maybe a solitary one, that you can do informally and on your own. Just sitting and reflecting by candlelight for a few minutes is a wonderful way to enjoy tonight's special energy. You might write down five things you'd like to experience this year - more love, greater freedom, more ease and grace, a new relationship, and so on. Light a candle, close your eyes, and imagine how these things feel in your life. How would you feel if you had them?
Below is some calming and healing music you can play while you sit quietly reflecting. It's called "Inner Guide," and is from Peter Davison. If you're looking for a really beautiful album to meditate or do healing work to, Presence by Peter Davison is one of my favorites.
And because I was watching Cosmos tonight I learned about Clair Patterson. He's the man who revolutionized what we know about our planet by figuring out precisely how old the Earth is (4.5 billion years). It was quiet the journey to do so, and required a true dedication and passion to the field of geochemistry.
During his research, he discovered that the amount of lead circulating in the earth and the atmosphere was much higher than it had been several hundred years prior. Knowing that lead is lethal and leads to blood poisoning, he shifted his focus to this study. He found that this rise in lead in our bodies and the top layers of the earth was because of leaded gasoline.
He then lobbied and fought the big oil companies for twenty years to get our gasoline unleaded. For twenty years some of the richest and most powerful people in this country did everything they could to derail his efforts. He never gave up the fight though, as he felt he owed it to his children, and all future generations, to win this battle.
I loved watching this episode tonight, on the night of the solstice, because the winter solstice is about the rhythms of the earth. It's such a wonderful time to connect with the earth and feel gratitude and love for the way it supports life. As you reflect on and welcome the increasing sunlight tonight, you might also consider the Sun's relationship to Earth, and how important each is in your existence. We can give thanks tonight for the unsung heroes like Clair that stand up to big polluters and their powerful influence.
And if you're thinking about Clair, you might also reflect on the power of one person. He had a dream, and he stood up to some scary people in order to see it realized. As you set your intentions tonight, try not to limit yourself to only what seems possible or convenient. Go for the gold. Set the bar high, because if you believe in something and you're passionate about it, you'll find a way to see it realized, just as Clair Patterson did.
Dream on my friends, and may this solstice be one that fills you with light and lights up your entire year ahead.