Winter Solstice is my favorite day of the year.
It is the shortest day of the year, often filled with dark, crisp wonder. It is the turning point when the light of the Sun begins its return to fullness. At the Solstice I often gather with friends, light candles, do simple rituals and sing out in the stillness. There is a depth to this time of the year that seems to give every word, image, and action deep meaning and significance.
At the Solstice, we complete one cycle and are given an opportunity to consciously begin anew. During the Winter Solstice, as well as the days before and after, inner silence often comes more easily than at other times of the year. Some years I bask in the silence. Other years inner silence remains elusive, more like a faint whisper than true silence.
This year the deep silence of Solstice came early and decided to stay a while.
Two weeks ago, I heard a snow storm would soon arrive in my hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is my first winter in this quaint town among the evergreens. Being born and raised in Southern California, I have lived most of my life close to the Pacific Ocean. A full blown snow storm would be a totally new experience. As soon as I heard about the storm, I drove around town, bought chains for my tires, stocked up on groceries and water, and even bought an oil lantern in case the power went out. I asked a friend to wrap my pipes and I pulled out my warmest clothes. By the end of the day I felt like I was ready for anything. Bring on the snow!
Around dusk the next afternoon, white flakes began to fall silently from the sky. As I watched the powdery snow cover my yard, I felt absolutely giddy. I sat mesmerized for hours, basking in delight as my deck and the garden beyond were completely cover in white. Late in the night I finally turned out the lights and went to bed feeling more peaceful than I had in months.
The magic continued the next morning as more snow fell until everything was covered with sparkly white snow. That afternoon when the snow stopped falling, I ventured out for a walk with my dog, Bosco. As we walked across the meadow and down towards the creek that flows through my back yard, I was immediately enveloped in awe and wonder at the utter silence.
I had never before experienced such profound and extended inner and outer silence.
The euphoria induced by this white powder was like none other. Paradoxically, in this profound silence, it felt like every part of my being, and every other being in my sphere, was humming this peaceful message in unison, "all is well".
In the midst of this powdery white stillness I touched something so deep and pure it could not be denied, discounted, or lightly skipped over. I touched upon the deep silence of my essence.
Touching this deep presence is always possible, yet in my experience it is more likely to happen during the days around the Winter Solstice. In the doorway between seasons, between light and dark, past and present, the old and the new; fresh possibilities to experience that which transcends all duality quite naturally emerge.
Unfortunately, in the busyness of the holiday season we sometimes miss the silence and the accompanying "all is well" choir sweetly humming within and around us. Yet these experiences of "silent humming" strengthen us for what lies ahead. Those moments of silence in the snow left me knowing anything is possible. Literally.
Over the next few days, I invite you to be on the look out for those moments of "silent humming", and to bask in them. These experiences of deep presence often sneak up on us when we least expect them.
May these precious moments be a delightful reminder that even though the Sun waxes and wanes, there is a deep radiant within you that ALWAYS SHINES.
Shining Big Love,
To read about how to make the most of this time of year, click here.
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.