I started to title this post “Into the Light, Solstice, New Beginnings and Old Friends” but that seemed ridiculously long.  That’s really the rambling nature of this post, though, so I’m sharing it anyway.

I haven’t written much lately.  I have quite a few posts sitting in my drafts, but nothing worth publishing.  Nothing I’ve written seems to be cohesive or form a point…just snippets of things.  A friend’s post this morning spurned my desire to post something and this what came out.  It’s not cohesive, probably shouldn’t be published here and may not be, but it’s what’s going on in my head.  Joyful Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (or Chanukah?), etc.  🙂

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This holiday season our family decided to move more toward Solstice and away from Christmas.  Our beliefs and values are evolving in a way that no longer aligns with this particular holiday and we want our traditions/celebrations to reflect that.  I pinned various ideas on my beloved pinterest, borrowed some books from a friend and have been planning things in my mind for a few months now.  Unfortunately, Solstice morning came and brought with it a raging migraine headache.

Complicating the day, I felt a pervasive sense of disappointing my children, both in the gift department and in the happy traditions department.  They were marvelous and grateful and happy, as they always are when receiving gifts.  I, however, noticed that this year something felt different.  I’ve never been a big gift giver at the holidays, or any time, really.  I think excessive gift-giving is ridiculous and try my best to keep some sanity about spending during special occasions.  I’m sure at least a portion of that comes from having minimal funds pretty much my entire parenting life.  This year, I made a concerted effort to get the children the gifts I knew they really wanted instead of what I thought they might like or what seemed practical.  Since their wants are more expensive, there were less packages to open.  The migraine left little-to-no energy for anything else.  It felt so quick, so tiny, so not enough.

The change in my attitude about gifts came about partially because of the “old friend” I’ve discovered in reading Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling.  Nothing in her book is new to me, but somewhere between the birth of my first child and now (three more kids and a husband later), I lost these ideas.  I’m not sure where or when, and I feel pretty certain that if I looked hard enough I would see that they had always been there, just got buried by life and other stuff.

Continuing the ramble….

The past year and a half have been a struggle for me.  Each time I think I’m getting better, something throws me off-kilter and I seem to find myself in a depressive and/or sick episode.  In public, I attempt to paste my normal smile on and “chop wood, carry water”.  In private, though, I often feel as though I’m falling apart, both physically and mentally.  This, in turn, freaks me out and then I go deeper into the dark abyss of questioning my sanity.  I haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific cause for these feelings/episodes, nor a cure or even a way to clearly articulate what’s going on.  I simply feel off.  Simply, ha.  There’s nothing simple about it.

At the center seems to be a general feeling of failure.  Failure at parenting.  Failure at being a full partner in marriage.  Failure at doing something so simple as buying a ticket right.  Failure at keeping a balanced budget.  Failure.  Failure.  Failure!  I have found myself pushed to tears by complete strangers (who may or may not have actually been judging), dear friends and even my beloved children (often).  Enough is enough!

The poem below was sent to me by a friend and while I liked it when she sent it a few days ago, it now seems more than fitting.  Perhaps that is the gift of the Winter Solstice?  The long darkness that slowly turns to the light?

Maybe, just maybe, I got it right after all.  Maybe I needed Solstice to be “dark” so I could see the light coming back.  Maybe this evolving way of being is just the perspective I’ve been needing to get out of this funk and get back into the light.

WINTER SOLSTICE

Journeying around the sun, at Yule, she turns furthest from the light.

Here In the dark of the long night she is veiled, and here she comes to the fullness of her union with creation.

To enter is to hold Death closest to our hearts.

And as we do, Death has her sensuous way.

Slowly, we come to a clearing, and the solstice.

And in deep stillness, we enter.

Our journey from the sun has come to its full, and we wait in a rare quality of quietness.

Time is no more.

Here in this place, we gently slip into the emptiness, and depth of the void, and bathe in the energies of creation.

When we are cleansed, and fully drunken from the cup, she continues on her journey around, and we edge back closer to the light.

Slipping out through her veils in birth, we are new, and journeying to the sun.

–Martin Jones

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