In the hymn, People Look East, a song favored by my daughter’s Waldorf school to accompany the lighting of the Advent wreath, this time is the “crowning of the year”. In all the traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, there are tales of the return of the light. The beautiful Christmas story says that at this moment when the days are brief and the nights long, the Christ appears, light in the darkness.
During all of December, I have made my usual preparations, lighting the candles of the menorah, decorating the tree with the ornaments culled from many chapters of my life, making the advent wreath with its symbols of the mineral, plant, animal and human worlds. I have anticipated the rich celebrations of song, food, friends and family. I feel the same soulful longing that I did as a little girl playing with my beloved plastic blue bird among the Christmas tree branches and flying him over to the creche to join the animals in their simple adoration. This numinous wonder still lives in this moment when I stop to remember. Such a moment of opportunity to touch in to the stream of belonging and love.
So on this Solstice eve, just before the Earth turns again toward increasing light, I pause to remember the beloved ones of my of my life present in the circles of the Quest, the winding path of the labyrinth ,the risers of St. Patrick’s choir, the tables of family and friends and those who live in the other realms. May we all pause to savor the depth of the season of longing.