This week we officially entered Winter, with the solstice on Tuesday. To mark this transition point, we held a solstice spiral at OUUC on Sunday evening, which was blessed with perfect weather and a beautiful moon in the sky. It was an evening of quiet contemplation and good company (a big thank you to Karmel Shields and Gregory Robinson for the hot drinks and to Denys and Nancy Curtiss for the fire pit).
At the gathering, I had a lovely chat with Nancy Curtiss about what we find true about this time of year. I have often felt that much of the holiday season is a planned distraction from how hard it can be to face winter’s dark and gloom. Nancy framed it as a preparation that gets us ready for hibernation and integration, which I think is just a lovely way of looking at the winter. What if all our gatherings and merry makings and other holiday activities then lead into a time of rest and reflection that gives us the space to integrate it all?
That’s how I almost always experience the week after Christmas, when all the To Do’s are checked off the list and the gifts have all been given and received, and then there is this time and space to just Be. We all need that time to rest and integrate and make sense of it all. Our bodies need that every day, and that’s what our brains do while we sleep …. We dream and process things in a different way than we do while we are waking. Maybe we need that on an annual basis as well. Maybe we need the pause in the winter that lets us process things in a different way.
Of course, to do that we need to actually take the time to pause and to rest. This year all the folks who help to make Sunday services happen (volunteers and staff alike) are going to pause and rest and not create live worship on the 26th. Instead, we are offering you all a “worship on your own” series of videos and readings on the theme of Rest, which you can access on this padlet: Sacred Rest (padlet.org)
I wish you all a sweet time of rest and renewal in the week ahead. May you find the space to integrate, to hibernate, to simply Be.