So on these long nights of winter solstice
may you find your wildest dreams
walking companionably alongside you.
Having waited for you all this time
to turn toward darkness
and find not fear, but peace and courage
and wild abandon toward a life you hadn’t dared imagine.
Our family celebrates the shortest day of the year with special saffron buns for breakfast. We celebrate because the days will start to get longer, lighter and warmer. I know that’s what’s happening, but when I look outside, it only seems darker and colder. There is a tension between what is and what seems to be.
My life also holds this tension between the big, crazy dreams of all the things I want to do and the reality of what I have been able to accomplish. If I focus only on the limitations of my present, I can easily get discouraged. I feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, and fearful that there isn’t enough time or that I am not skilled enough to bring about my vision of the future. But the solstice invites a more optimistic view. Even if the future lies in darkness, I know that it already exists in my mind and that I am bringing it about with each step I take toward it.
Facing my fears and moving ahead takes courage and hope. The larger my dreams, the greater the fear that I will fail. And yet, failure is a certainty if I don’t try. The process of trying is what changes the future and brings dreams to life. The solstice is an opportunity to acknowledge that the present looks dark but to believe in the brightness of the future.