Many of my pictures present my love of the sky. I find such comfort and stillness in the sky, in particular the evening sky. I know in a prior post I wrote that the sky is like a silent sea. I think that still resonates. Although the sea is something of immense beauty, I don’t know if it ever portrays colors like this picture? Also, the sky is available for all to see, the ocean is not. This picture was taken in New York overlooking Setauket Harbor. No filters were used, just God’s amazing imagination and perfectly executed palate for our enjoyment during those short days of Winter Solstice.
The words Winter Solstice reverberates with a sense of calm and quiet. It is a time when the days are the shortest of the year. It signifies a time to retract and reflect. I don’t see it as a time to regroup and get your life in order. I see it as a time that you’re allowed to be still. You’re allowed to be indoors and retreat. Maybe not for long, but just long enough to replenish your soul after the holiday rush.
Winter Solstice falls on December 21, but I think we should embrace it as a ‘season of winter for restoration’. It’s a mindset that I think we all need. It doesn’t mean we withdraw and hibernate like a bear, but just as we fill our body with healthy activities, we need a time to fill our souls with peaceful thoughts and maybe even empty ourselves a little by taking time to rest, something most of us fail to do. We are driven by tasks of accomplishments that we don’t value a philosophy of rest. I know the concept sounds almost impossible for some, but maybe there are aspects of your life you could change, especially if you work full time.
Perhaps instead of watching TV you read or write in a journal. Collect your thoughts from the holiday’s of things that you enjoyed and are worth repeating or things that need to be removed from your schedule next year? We often think we will remember the prior holiday season, but much is forgotten in the hustle and bustle of this time of year, so our brains are not positioned for focused memory storage. Perhaps the process of writing your thoughts down will allow you to purge some unnecessary thoughts that are resonating and taken way too much space in your mind. Write down and purge. This will allow you to free up some space in your mind, if you’re willing to let go. We often feel if we are not busy ‘doing’ we are slacking or procrastinating. Which I suppose can be the case at times, but not necessarily all the time. Our bodies and are minds need time for peaceful rest and the winter season is the perfect time to start a new ritual. Let go of the guilt!
We live in an industrious society. We are always trying to stay one step ahead. If we don’t, we feel as if we will fall behind and be unable to catch up. But life is a journey not a race. There’s no gold medal waiting for you at the finish line. What matters is your approach to each day with a sense of gratitude and willingness to improve the view of your world and those you can influence.
The winter solstice started as a pagan holiday. Like other traditional religious holidays, they too have pagan roots. I don’t think there was anything wrong on attaching religious holiday’s onto something that was pagan because it represented a change, a recognition that a particular practice was no longer acceptable, and now we do ‘this’ instead, a new way. The way that changed humanity. I know there are some that think Christmas should not be celebrated on December 25th because Jesus was not born on this day and why would we celebrate His birth on a pagan holiday? It is true that Jesus was not born on December 25, but what is true is he was born. The date is irrelative. The recognition of his arrival is what matters. I recently read a blog by Bruxy Carvey which touches on this topic. The title actually is about Halloween but he writes about Christmas as well. The same principle is applied regarding pagan practices and Christian holiday’s. I attached a link below if you feel like reading it. I think you’ll find his writings very insightful.
Although I am not a huge fan of the cold, I do like that it allows me to feel like I can be a bit of a hermit. I look forward to quieter days of some deep contemplative thought as I reflect on the year gone by and anticipate the year ahead. I will continue to forge ahead with life but perhaps be more considerate of the need to rest.
I hope you take some time to refresh your soul. As the New Year approaches and you start to think of diet and exercise plans, do consider incorporating some deliberate mindful rest. Try and gaze at the winter sky and maybe look at the full moons as it illuminates the sky on December 21, 2018. This event will not be repeated until 2094. That’s 76 years! I’m certain I will not be on this side of heaven to witness that!