Today is the Winter Solstice – the day of the year with the fewest hours of sunlight. Today where I live, I think we got about 8 hours of daylight, and that was overcast and cloudy. But starting tomorrow, each day will get a little longer and a little longer until we’re back in the middle of June with sunlight shining until 10:00 pm. While I am most definitely a sun lover, I’ve come to appreciate the darker days of winter as I’ve grown older. It’s become my annual ritual to reminisce about the year that’s past and to anticipate the year that’s coming.
For me, 2021 was filled with both losses and gains, heartache and joy, upheaval and peace. I found it necessary to completely remove some people from my life who were not only not adding to my peace but were actually actively trying to destroy it. I was thrilled to hear from someone I’ve loved and missed for years, and we are now back in touch. I have mourned the fact that my now-adult son needed his dad and me to become his legal guardians and simultaneously marveled at all he’s learned the past 18 years. I’ve been saddened by family members who have chosen to walk away and delighted by those who continually show they’re in it for the long haul.
I learned not to take personally what others think of me. I learned that my boundaries would upset some people. I learned those aren’t my people. I learned that looking out for myself is solely on me. I learned that the man who loves me says what he means and means what he says. I learned that letting go of things I no longer need or want is cathartic. I learned that grief lasts a long, long time – maybe forever. I learned that joy should be felt and celebrated every second I feel it. I learned to trust myself even when I’m unsure. Some of these things I’ve known for years, and this year just reiterated and reinforced them to me.
This year was a better one than the last for so many reasons, and I have faith that 2022 will be even better. I have so much change coming down the pike, and I am excited about it! So tonight, as I light my candles and shuffle my tarot deck, I will look out at the dark sky in anticipation of the light to come. I will breathe and know the sun is on her way.
Happy winter solstice, friends. May today’s darkness make the light in your lives even brighter.