The Wheel turns. What a lovely Winter Solstice it was, filled with music and glogg, reading and quiet, sacred time. I normally begin my musical journey downward around the beginning of September, first surrounding myself with the songs of Samhain, then slowly descending into the darkness of the Solstice night. The melodies feed me, my soul hungry for lonesome sounds, pulling me downward to the very bottom of my being. Like Persephone making her way to the Underworld over and over again, my path is well worn, familiar, and in a certain sense very comforting.
The difference this year is the lingering. I normally love to linger within the music. I play it well into the rest of winter. It is almost like Solstice does not end for me until Imbolc arrives. But the morning following Winter Solstice, upon awakening to a day just barely longer than the day before, my thoughts were not of lingering, but climbing, reaching, working toward what lies ahead. I was full of energy and announced to the horses that there is now nowhere to go but up! Up, toward the opening of the cave, toward hope, renewal and all that will feed us until the next time we find ourselves at the top of those long and winding stairs that will draw us into the earth…
I’m not sure why my feeling is so different. Maybe it is a sense of urgency for everything that I hope to accomplish this spring and summer? Maybe it is that I’m closer to myself now that my soul has somewhat returned? Maybe it is that 2016 was an awful year (except for finding this farm) full of angst and stress and SO MANY trials and tests? I’m ready to put it this year to rest for certain. Maybe it is that damn ticker app on my phone that keeps announcing to me how many days until daylight savings time starts? (lol).
Whatever the reason there is a marked difference in my Solstice journey. I remind myself that the period between Solstic and Imbolc is the hardest time for me emotionally. It always has been a struggle to stay focused and not fall backwards, tumbling down the staircase to land in the mire of hopelessness that winter seems to throw at me. As I climb I can always feel the ice covered hands of it, the breath on my neck, one step behind me like a willowy, windswept beast waiting for just the right moment to wrap me in arms of cold, cold darkness and carry me back down with it. Post Solstice Winter is as lonely as the season of my soul. It wants companionship. It lives off of worry and strife, feeds off of hopelessness and self-loathing.
But, I cannot linger with you this my friend, my enemy, my very, very familiar companion. I have to do my best to climb. I must go faster than I have before, be strong against your pull and care for my wounded soul that is still trying to heal herself. I will have to brace against your power, your cold comfort, your sweet, sleepy breath against my cheek. I am climbing this staircase and pushing my grief and madness aside as I go. I will not turn around for you. I cannot come back down right now. Wait for me though, as the leaves turn and flutter once more. I will not leave you in the darkness forever. Rest and wait for me. I promise to return.