Longest night, mammals and all rejoice

Happy Solstice.  It’s the shortest day and longest night of the year.  It’s the first day of winter and it sounds like winter will soon be felt. 

It’s a good time for mammals to give thanks for fur, and those who have lost their fur to find a warm blanket, or a fireplace, or an HVAC register.  It’s a good time to be inside not just a den or a home, but inside one’s thoughts.  To enter the rich darkness of interiority, to sit in the mystery of self and other. 

There is a natural rhythm to all this.

We don’t know what time of year Jesus was actually born, but it’s a good time to mark the occasion, a few days into the light’s return.  Mary births Jesus from the rich darkness of her body and holds him in the dark, skin on skin warmth.  When the light arrives, it suggests that the new day need not be a mere repetition of all previous days.  Like Mary and Joseph, we reorient our lives around the one who, in Mary’s words, will bring down the powerful from their thrones and lift up the lowly. 

Enjoy this dark night and the gift of warmth and rest, the seed of life planted deep within you, which, in the course of time, will grow into what only it can become.