Bless the passing dark; bless the returning light.
"This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath."
December 21, 2021—waning gibbous moon in Cancer—December solstice
I fully expected to write you an elegant, thoughtful letter musing on the meaning of the solstice and the power of transitions (she says shaking her head ruefully.)
Then I started a poetry class that meets from 6 to 8 a.m., which, of course, meant needing to go to sleep way earlier than my usual wee hours bedtime. Anyone who knows me will understand that the intersection of that time schedule and I is an unpredictable (and slightly laughable) thing. Innate night owl that I am, when I experience dawn—which I love—it's because I haven't yet slept.
As you can probably guess, I've been reeling somewhat lopsidedly through this week. I'm (yawn) hoping elegant and thoughtful return once my brain and body are both awake at the same time. On the other hand, I'm writing some interesting poetry drafts!
In an attempt to keep this letter more thoughtful than loopy, I'm inviting in words from Terry Tempest Williams found in her book When Women Were Birds.
. . .
First, though, a little context. A solstice—whether winter or summer—is an edge. It can feel like a pause in the great heartbeat of this planet. To us, it can offer a between space; a place of beginning and ending where we are able to pause, reflect, and imagine.
Before you read the following quotes, I invite you to breathe with yourself for a minute or two. Maybe place a hand on your heart or belly and notice the expansion and contraction of your body as you inhale and exhale.
As you experience each quote, perhaps invite yourself to pause after reading the words and notice where they land in your body. Notice what feelings or thoughts, if any, they spark. Maybe write some things down, if that feels nourishing.
There is no right or wrong way to interact with these quotes. Just a gentle invitation to pause, reflect, and imagine with these words as catalyst.
. . .
"We come into this world through women, a woman who is spent, broken open, in awe. No wonder women have been feared and worshipped ever since man first saw the crowning of a human head here, legs spread, a brushstroke of light.
"We are Fire. We are Water. We are Earth. We are Air.
"We are all things elemental."
"In a voiced community, we all flourish."
"To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones. Words have a weight to them."
"Empty pages become possibilities."
. . .
I hope the quotes and my invitation spark something intriguing for you!
I'm off for the next few weeks wooing stillness and respite interspersed with pausing, reflecting and imagining. I'll write to you again in January 2022.
Until then, may light and kindness grace your life,
Just two more things:
1. If you could use skilled, kind eyes double-checking things like newsletters, articles, essays, or web pages, I'm offering copyediting and proofreading these days. Email me with questions.
2. Community and solace are yours every third Saturday in January, February, and March. Come write with us.
Hi! I'm Tracie Nichols
From under the wide reach of two venerable Sycamore trees, I write poetry, facilitate group writing experiences, proofread and copyedit for tiny businesses and just-starting-out writers.
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