Tuesday, December 21, 2010

in the bleak midwinter

im listening to the frosty wind alternately roaring and moaning in the trees. sitting here, in the darkness, the sky outside my window is black as night. if the calendar says winter begins today, the wind sounds as if its been winter for a good long time.

according to the ancient celts, winter began on hallowe'en - on samhain - on the night that literally means "summer's end." this is why the solstice occurs at "mid-winter" - we are now half way from the end of summer to the beginning of what's considered spring in the celtic countries...imbolc, the feast of the first milk.

but here, now, as we have done in the northern hemisphere ever since we marched ourselves out of africa, im huddled around a flickering light - even if it is my laptop - with a dog cuddled around my feet and a blanket around my back.

it feels like midwinter.

all around me things are changing - my life next time this year will most likely be very different. in just about nine very short months, my youngest will leave for college. an ocean of time and energy as i have never had available to me in my life stretches before me, a void that begs to be filled. it would be easy - and tempting - to focus on what will be lost.

and yet, what will be gained tantalizes, just like the sky has brightened in the time it's taken me to type these words, turning from inky black to milky blue in a shift nearly imperceptible until after its occured.

for the last 24 hours, a song has been running through my head, an american folk hymn that i think perfectly describes where i am at this moment in time:

my life goes on in endless song
above earth's lamentations.
i catch the real though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
through all the tumult and the strife
i hear the music ringing;
it sounds an echo in my soul -
how can i keep from singing?

what though the tempest round me roars
i hear the truth it bringeth
and though the darkness round me grows
songs in the night it giveth.
no storm can shake my inmost calm
while to this rock im clinging:
since Love is lord of heaven and earth
how can i keep from singing?

may all your songs be merry and all your knights be bright...blessed solstice, everyone!


Kathy said...

Wonderful thoughts for a dark winter's morning! Blessed Solstice to you!

Kim said...

Blessings to you too my friend.

Walk in the Woods said...

Blessings. I was awake much of the night … and up early to catch a glimpse of the eclipsing moon … then curled up to doze some more, but not for long.

It seemed to me that Daylight really took her sweet time this morning in arriving to full disclosure.

Merry mid-winter to you. And thank you for the song - I sang as I read!