Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice 2011

Today, or more precisely early this morning, the winter solstice occurred for those of us in the northern hemisphere.  To some, the official start of winter is something to be dreaded... long nights and short cold days confining them to their homes and jobs, in some cases never even seeing the sun without making a special effort.  But for me, the solstice is a cause for celebration.  By definition, it is the shortest day and longest night of the year, with each day thereafter bringing more light.  From a practical standpoint, this means longer days of climbing after work, which I'm already fortunate enough to be able to do even on this the shortest of days.  Metaphorically, it is a reminder that light follows darkness, that whether we've already hit rock bottom or still have further to fall, in time we will rise again.  It's even a reminder, hard though it can be at the time, to celebrate those moments of lowness as a necessary piece of that complementary opposition that gives our high points meaning.  Without dark, there is no light.  Without rest, no action.

As we make this transition from dark to light, from rest to action, the solstice naturally becomes a time to celebrate new beginnings.  This seems especially poignant as I look around me at all the new beginnings I see for my friends and family... two of my siblings recently moving to Colorado and one to Mexico, my wife starting a new job, a friend about to leave for an incredible photo project in Thailand, other friends celebrating weddings and honeymoons, still others expecting children... all experiences that will shape this season of their lives.  And for myself?  Well, I have my ideas.

So with the sun now setting somewhere over the Pacific, I raise my glass to those of you in darkness and those finally emerging from it, to those making new beginnings and those still seeking their next inspiration.  May your energy and hope grow with the light, and whatever you set out to do this season, may you find success.  Cheers!

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