The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. – Black Elk
there is this thing that swedes do when the sun pops out from behind a cloud or when they walk outside and feel the warm sun on their skin… they turn their faces toward the sun. they close their eyes and soak up all that beautiful vitamin d. truly, every single one of them does this. and after experiencing a swedish winter 3 times now, i completely understand. in fact, i find myself doing it too.
the other thing that swedes find exciting is the winter solstice, because it marks the day that the sun slowly begins to return to the earth. this is a very,very big event for dark, cold sweden and everyone in he northern hemisphere. the ever-shortening days finally begin to become longer, minute by minute.
today is that day. today the sun begins to warm us little by little until the long, bright days of summer return. it is a time of hope. a reminder in the deep darkness of this world, that the darkness does not have the last say… literally and figuratively, i believe. the light always returns. the light always overcomes the dark.
during this holiday season, we (i) focus so much on the hope, love, joy, & peace of the season, that it can almost seem insensitive or sickening to others. but, i’ll be the first to admit that things are not so beautiful & peaceful in this world. darkness really does exist, as evidenced in the tragic, horrific school shooting last week in sandy brook school in newtown, ct. it exists in the injustices of sweatshops and human trafficking, in war & abuse, in the inequality & judgmental actions that lead to hate crimes. and it exists even within our own souls. we feel sadness and pain. we suffer, hurt, mourn, and feel hopeless & helpless. winter reminds us that death is part of life. that the cold makes us uncomfortable. and that we are truly afraid sometimes that we may be stuck in this forever.
but, even in the midst of all of the pain and fear in the world & in our own lives, we still wait & journey through this time of the year. we wait for new birth, for new life, for new hope. we wait to be made whole. we wrap ourselves in blankets, cry ourselves to sleep, worry ourselves silly, and wait it out.
so, for today, i set aside a moment for quiet & remembrance, a moment to observe and remember the darkness around me and inside me. i admit that it’s there. I admit to myself that a dark night of the soul is part of my journey, if only to show me the light. i become willing to enter into the dark night and dwell there for a moment, to see & feel the realities around me.
but, then, I turn my face again to the sun, knowing that this heaviness, this darkness, this suffering life,this groaning world will not remain as it is. the light has begun to return. the sun will shine again. the winds will calm. and love will win.
happy dark night of the soul day. happy winter solstice.
The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light. – Joseph Campbell
wishing you peace in the midst of the darkness.