I’m more plugged into nature (such as it is in this concrete jungle) since opting out of the madness of X-mas while focusing more on solstice. I’m very grateful for the line of trees outside of my balcony and for the birds that come to the bird-feeder! Life would may be unbearable without the local trees there and the birds. There are many birds there because I’m sure many homes were lost to building the interstate and the malls. Anyway, I think I’ve always recognized and in my heart held it within my own inner awareness on New Year’s, December 31st. I usually spend that day very quietly and in meditation. X-mas had to be with family—I’d come down from the mountains for the holiday clamor and clatter. This year, however, missing the solitude of the mountains, I’ve turned to the ‘solace of solstice’ if you don’t mind a play on words. The word solstice means “sun stands still” from the old Celtic. Anyway, polarities now are so interesting. As I watch the hustle bustle of the holiday shopping frenzies existing all around me in this city here versus what is happening in nature—quite contrary. At a time when it seems natural to slow down and turn inward, the commercialism gods have people running in circles to meet a deadline, turning up the angst and turning away from nature.
I was just on dictionary.com a while ago and a hyper female voice came out from beyond my opened pages on my laptop screaming about saving 60 to 70% on something or other for X-mas. You can’t get away from the vendors screaming at you to buy something even when you go to look up a word in an online dictionary!
Is it designed this way by some negative force that… well, best not to go into paranoia or conspiracy theories. It’s just that I’m more focused on the trees, the wind, and all aspects of nature these past few weeks. And everything in nature seems to be saying, “It’s time to go within; to slow down; to notice the changes.” Instead, people are focused on a materialism ritual to which they seem to have totally lost the connection to any meaning. Yeah, I know; it’s great for the economy and all that, but….
In order to counterbalance all of that in my family this year (since I’m here and not home in the mountains), I plan to introduce them to solstice. We will go to the woods and hang up birdseed loaded onto pine cones and other gifts for the birds and animals. I don’t think myself masterful enough to entice them to meditate as they are always competing for who is going to talk next and we’ve got a family member who wants to direct everything everyone to distraction; but at least there will be no super stores on Friday. Only a nature hike and then we will sit at home in a candle lit room and do a few other things to mark the change. Wish me luck turning them away from the malls and madness. If nothing else, the birds and squirrels will be given some treats, we’ll all get some exercise and maybe I can get them to notice the trees and naturally growing holly. I’ve a number of little nature rituals planned if I can get them to clamber down enough.
I’ve no doubt the younger ones will get into it; it’s the others, so we’ll see. For the time being, my granddaughter and I are enjoying the various preparations.
The Winter Solstice is December 21st (2012).