The Solstice is a time of deep contemplation, intention and responsibility for setting the course of the coming new yearly cycle. It is a period of deep stillness in the natural world – birds stop singing, plants stop growing, our own bodies turn inwards more to introspection than physical activity.
The Solstice and the days that extend to January 7th are considered the most powerful days of stillness and receptivity in the year. An opening to our influence and wishes.
I wish to share a picture that was given to me in pieces over many years that I am now just beginning to see more fully and I will try my best to honor it.
While the picture is all around us – it is both immensely complex and incredibly simple. Our Earth – of which we are a critical part – is made up of repeating patterns that are all interconnected. Fractals as the mathematicians like to refer to them. This picture is of one pattern that repeats everywhere – that of cycles and pulsations with stillpoints at their transition times. The massive movement of the tides, the in-breath and out-breath of all living things, the germination, growth, fruiting and death of plants and animal, a child swinging on a great swing tied high to a tree branch. Even cooking and preparing a beautiful family dinner and setting the table, and then its inverse of eating and relishing the food and love that went into it is a rich cycle with a poignant pause point. These pulsations of life are ubiquitous. The solstice represents one of the main cycles – that of the seasons and the end of the growth and harvest of the summer and fall. To understand the feeling – take in a deep breath and then exhale completely and see how your whole body relaxes – we are at that point at the end of the exhale when our attention turns inward.
This is a creation point – a place where our lives, this Earth and the Universe is most receptive to our will and intention. Our role is that of creators. This creation or pause points in each of these cycles is where we can plant our wish and influence the natural world to adjust to it during this stillness. Farmers have known this for centuries because the forces they work with are far too massive to change after or before these pause point.
Our culture of speed and efficiency has taught us that the rapid movement in-between these pauses is where all the action is – all the productivity, all we need to pay attention to. Just the opposite is true I am afraid. Ever tried to change the trajectory of a child’s swing in mid soar? Tried to move a garden in the spring? Tried to change the direction of a group of people who are already charging off in what they think is the right direction? You might succeed to some degree – it is always an immense struggle with questionable results.
So for the next two weeks – take a moment each day – and intend what you want to see more of in this world. Take a moment or more each day and notice – stop – and feel what you truly want. And if it is with a person – wait for the pause point in the conversation – then acknowledge them and what is happening between you. If it is a child, wait for the silent moment when they are receptive and then point to what you notice, if it is at a beautiful meal – set the intention and praise what you love about it at the transition point just before everyone begins to eat. You can call this whatever you wish – and have it be consistent with your spiritual or religious practices, because of course this wisdom is known in all of teachings.
But mostly I have an intention that I wish to share with all of you for this coming “out-breath” – or new season of growth – that together we share this picture by asking those around us for an intention of what they want to see more of in the coming year – just ask them to tell you a story of a beautiful interaction with another, a moment when they experienced hope and felt joy blossom in a place of hopelessness. The Solstice is an amplifier of our intentions and pictures.
I would like to share my personal intention for this new cycle: that we, one family at a time and one farmer at a time, deepen our relationship to our food, our land, the Earth for the health and abundance of all.
Blessings and Love to all our families, our farmers and communities,