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Solstice in the North: Time to Reflect, By Tim Oaks

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Red Eyed Tree Frog
Painted Lake, Muskoka. Photo by Ben Porchuk

Here we are, once again, the north side of the earth facing as far as it can from the sun. The longest night of the year, the right dip on the graph. It may be getting you down, the long, dark, cold nights ahead and the hurriedness of the holiday season. For those south of the equator, it is the longest day, the opposite end of the year. Save this email to ponder next June!

This point, the winter solstice, has been celebrated with gatherings, feasts, singing and dancing, bringing the community together to face the dark and cold for many millennia. Over the past 40,000 years, as humans moved north, they developed ways of dealing with the dark and cold across the northern hemisphere. Over 4,500 years ago, massive stone rings were built in Europe, aligned to the sun’s movements. Imagine the care needed to track the sun, year after year with very limited tools and recording methods! What this brought was the comfort of knowing the sun had reached its lowest point in the sky, a new year would start with increasing light.

Red Eyed Tree Frog
Sun hanging low on Lake St. Clair, Canada. Photo by Ben Porchuk

We have technology that allows us now to plow ahead into the dark without slowing down, allows us to be connected 24/7. Even just a few hundred years ago, light was a valuable, scarce resource after the sun set. Our bodies and minds were not designed to push productivity and stress into the nighttime.

What we have lost from days gone by is to take time to simply be, connect with nature, stop for rest, reflection and recharging. We evolved being intimate with nature, recognizing it as sacred, not a resource to be exploited without reserve. Being in nature without agenda, using all our senses to notice the details, open ourselves to the natural wonders that abound about us brings as closer to that way of being. Taking the time to consider what was learnt in the past year and what we will choose to grow in the coming year, by giving it more attention, is ideal for dark evenings.

Red Eyed Tree Frog
Celebrating the Moon Riding High in Winter, in Northern Hemisphere. Photo by Ben Porchuk

Use the connection invitation below to help you let go of the need to fill each moment with busyness.

Reconnecting with Mother Earth, an invitation for regrounding:

  1. Find a place where you can stand or sit comfortably. Outside is best, if you can. Choose a space you can ‘simply be’ in for 5, 10, 15 minutes.

  2. Take a deep breath, in through your nose, slowly out of your mouth. Feel the air flow through you. Let your thoughts slide by without analysis or judgment.

  3. Feel the connection through feet reaching down into the earth. Imagine roots flowing from your soles down into firm, moist earth.

  4. Feel Mother Earth supporting you, holding you. Simply rest there. Simply be.

  5. Use all your senses to take in the world around you as it is. Notice the details. Cherish what makes you smile.

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