Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice solace

As if to recognize that the Dark had once again lost its yearly campaign to swallow up the world, the clouds parted and the sun returned to the sky. Today is the Winter Solstice, and although in fact it will be a while yet before DC days do truly lengthen, the weather is conspiring in a symbolic celebration.

Today is also the first night of Chanukah, a festival commemorating two more victories against the Dark. One was a historic victory, and the holiday is viewed as a celebration of freedom. The other was a victory of faith over destruction, when a tiny amount of oil, enough to keep the reclaimed Temple's eternal light burning for but one day, lasted the 8 days it took to bring back a new supply.

Every culture has its stories of the triumph of light over darkness, and the holidays long pre-date the excuses we ascribe to them. There is only one story. Light is dying away, and along with it the hope that it will ever return. We know it did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, but still, faced with soul-strangling grey, it is hard to believe the sun will ever return.

And yet it does.
It did.
Today, it did.

I observed the solstice by going outside. I felt compelled to leave the house, where I tend to silently cower over dark weekends, barely speaking except to the cats. I drove the few minutes to a short old street of antique shops, wandered the sidewalks, stopped in my favorite stores, bought a book of poetry, chatted about the coming Inauguration, and took pictures of the sun to remind me that it had really been here.

Tears still clog my throat, partly from the persistent SAD, partly from persistent sadness, but faith has returned that I will survive. Somehow, next year I need to go south for a few days. Drugs and light boxes aren't enough. I'll plan ahead, I'll save up vacation days, and wangle an invitation to somewhere suitable.

Meanwhile, the countdown continues to another triumph of Light over Darkness. A triumph of Hope and Faith, not to mention hard work and an inspired community.

30 days till Inauguration Day.


Greenwoman said...

Hey there chickie...I know a great elder couple who live in Volcano Hawaii on the big island. If you can get there, you can stay at a retreat center with folks who will load you up with good energy. Big plane fare, but the center is reasonably priced. They are about a mile from Volcano National Park.

I"m glad that you are feeling an upswing. I think its wise that you plan ahead next year. It could be a whole new way to do Solstice in future. *smiles*

Be well. ((hugs)) Just a few more weeks and it will all feel better. The sadness will move through faster with the SAD isn't there. It will all be okay soon. It is right now too...It just feels hard now. *smiles*

Paul said...

OG dear girl, the light always wins, take heart you too will win.
Warm hugs,

oatmeal girl said...

Ooh, I've been to the Big Island. With ex-hubby #2. It would be nice to go back sometime and reclaim it.

As you can surely tell from later posts, it's going to be a bumpy ride for a little while, especially if the sun doesn't get its ass out more permanently. being alone makes it harder, as I don't have the external stimulation to perk me up - or to tell me to stop moping around. I do know it will come out all right in the end, but for now I'm struggling.

Paul - yes, you're right. The light always somehow does win... tho then the cycle starts all over again. I just have to have faith in the cycle and know that it is coming back.