At winter solstice the light began to return.
And yet we plunged, as always, into the coldest part of winter. And we must wait for relief.
If you are in the heat of the northern hemisphere summer, maybe you too are waiting for relief, only in this case it will be a change to cooler days. I hope the theme of waiting will stilll resonate for you.
Here is the southern hemisphere, it’s usually a six week wait before something changes (although this year there are signs of it happening earlier). Then in early August, at ‘First Light’, finally the light turns to warmth.
Yes, at last the warmth can be felt, not just by you and me, but by birds, insects, animals, trees, and sleeping seeds.
The season of awakening begins. Although the changes may still be subtle, they are perceptible as quiescence turns to quickening, slumber to stirring, and the slowness of dormancy to dancing movement.
Waiting without proof
What is Nature’s teaching for this season?
Between winter solstice and First Light we are asked to wait. Not without hope, because we’ve been given a sign. We know the light is returning. But we wait without proof since the light, although seen, cannot be felt.
How many times does this happen in life, when you may have kindled a new intention, pulled a dream out of the dark and into the light, and yet nothing happens?
You thought initiation was enough. Yet you can’t feel the change that you’d hoped for.
You’ve taken the right action, yet results are not flowing in.
What is being asked of you during such dark weeks of the soul?
This is a time to hold faith and patience, to trust, and surrender to a timing beyond your control.
Recently this happened to me after I said yes to being part of a film project. The week before the filming took place I caught the winter virus that had been felling my friends and I had to surrender to a whole week out of action.
Nothing I could do, no effort to heal, no amount of vitamins and other remedies was going to get me up and running in time. In fact, the more I tried to get well, the worse I became, because I was creating stress.
It was a relief finally to surrender, and then to accept that I was being taken more deeply into the dark cave of winter, to receive more knowledge and guidance.
The new date of August 1, scheduled for the eve of the First Light felt perfect, for I knew this was when light turns to warmth. I knew I would be ready to express from a deeper place.
What are you noticing?
Are you feeling any subtle changes as the light turns to warmth?
If you are a gardener, what signs do you notice that the plants are responding to the earth’s awakening?
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Ritual for First Light
You may like to welcome in First Light with a candle lighting. This is time to celebrate Brigid, the Celtic Fire Goddess of inspiration, poetry and healing. I like to link her with the Maori Fire Goddess Mahuika, whose flaming fingernails sent power into the forest of Tane. Share poetry, inspiration, and your hopes for a new cycle of growth.
I wish you patience as the light turns to warmth,
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
— May Sarton
If you are feeling jaded at the end of winter, you will find replenishment in my Winter Attunement home ritual.
If you are in the northern hemisphere, check out my Summer Attunement home ritual.
This post is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.