Winter Solstice Poetry Feast
If you know me, you know I absolutely love celebrating the quarter days (solstices and equinoxes) and cross-quarter days (privately) and often hold community gatherings (now virtually) for us to celebrate together, attune to the energy of now, acknowledge the passing of time and the turning of the Wheel of the Year.
Those who were at my Winter Solstice Restorative Yoga + Poetry + Meditation event wanted me to share the poems I read during class.
Here they are! A smorgasbord of winter love for you to feast on:
A solstice reflection by Sarah Faith Gottesdiener:
It's ok if you're beyond exhausted, in dire need of too much, holding a broken heart in your small, cold hands.
It's ok if you are humming a celebratory tune over a batch of steamy soup you'll be sharing with beloveds, feeling more yourself than ever.
It's ok if you are an odd mix of way too much and way too little, moving slowly through a silent cave, towards glimmers of light that promise an opening.
Even if it's not ok—which, let's face it, is true about so much right now—
can you be with yourself in a softer way?
This is a time to pause and to catch up to yourself, wherever you may be. Without judgment. With acceptance. With third-eye sight, sharpened by the stillness.
See in the dark, feel into all the messages the emptiness brings.
Gather up all the repeated complaints and yearnings, throw them all in the fire that needs to burn up this year. Make a promise to do something different, as soon as you've rested and restored, as much as you can.
In Celebration of the Winter Solstice by Stephanie Noble:
Do not be afraid of the darkness.
Dark is the rich fertile earth
that cradles the seed, nourishing growth.
Dark is the soft night that cradles us to rest.
Only in darkness
can stars shine across the vastness of space.
Only in darkness
is the moon’s dance so clear.
There is mystery woven in the dark quiet hours,
There is magic in the darkness.
Do not be afraid.
We are born of this magic.
It fills our dreams
that root, unravel and reweave themselves
in the shelter of the deep dark night.
The dark has its own hue,
its own resonance, its own breath.
It fills our soul,
not with despair, but with promise.
Dark is the gestation of our deep and knowing self.
Dark is the cave where we rest and renew our soul.
We are born of the darkness,
and each night we return
to the deep womb of our beginnings.
Do not be afraid of the darkness,
for in the depth of that very darkness
comes a first glimpse of our own light,
the pure inner light of love and knowing.
As it glows and grows, the darkness recedes.
As we shed our light, we shed our fear,
and revel in the wonder of all that is revealed.
So, do not rush the coming of the sun.
Do not crave the lengthening of the day.
Celebrate the darkness.
Here and now. A time of richness. A time of joy.
Settle In by Danna Faulds:
Settle in the here and now.
Reach down into the centre
where the world is not spinning
and drink this holy peace.
Feel relief flood into every
cell. Nothing to do. Nothing
to be but what you are already.
Nothing to receive but what
flows effortlessly from the
mystery into form.
Nothing to run from or run
toward. Just this breath,
Awareness knowing itself as
embodiment. Just this breath,
awareness waking up to truth.
Winter Solstice by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater:
You will find me
snug in colorful wool
a solstice sky
with cold night stars
You will see me
my mittened hands
as if to hug
the hidden sun
And you will hear me
Each new day
I feel this truth
inside my warming bones.
“Winter Solstice” by Rebecca Parker:
For a moment…
the wheels stop rolling,
the computers desist from computing,
and a hush will fall over the city.
For an instant, in the stillness,
the chiming of celestial spheres will be heard
as earth hangs poised
in the crystalline darkness, and then
Let there be a season
when holiness is heard, and
the splendor of living is revealed.
stunned to stillness by beauty
we remember who we are and why we are here.
There are inexplicable mysteries.
we are not alone.
In the universe there moves a Wild One
whose gestures alter earth’s axis
In the immense darkness
everything spins with joy.
The cosmos enfolds us.
We are caught in a web of stars,
cradled in a swaying embrace,
rocked by the holy night,
babes of the universe.
Let this be the time
we wake to life.
Closing call and response style reading by Stephanie Noble:
May I be a lamp unto myself. (This was the Buddha’s last instruction to his students.)
May I be guided by my inner light.
May my practice bring awareness of my own inner light.
May I light the darkness with awareness.
May my inner light grow and glow.
May I sit and savor the darkness until I see the light.
Thank you to all who attended live, or caught the replay of my very special Winter Solstice Restorative Yoga + Poetry + Meditation offering. Stay tuned for more magic in the coming months.
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI