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Wished on the morning star?
I woke this morning, winter solstice, with this song in my head and the overwhelming need to get somewhere to watch the sunrise.
As I dressed in warm layers in the dark, I thought of the many times I have woken with this urge. I’ve greeted the dawn in both hemispheres, on mountaintops, on beaches, from treetops and airplane windows, tents, and savanna.
When I was a kid, I found myself spending the weekend at a friend of the family’s home. I was going through a rough period with a lot of unexpected changes, and this was just one more strange twist. Unlike us, they lived near a series of red hoodoos, and I was drawn to those rocks. I bided my time until the right moment arrived to explore. I snuck out of the house in the dark and scrambled to the top of the tallest hoodoo. The coyotes were yipping in the predawn, a few stars and a thin sliver of moon were the only light in the sky. It was windy (as usual), so I tucked myself as close to the rock as I could get. And I stayed, watching the night turn toward the day. Not long after sunrise, I crept back to the house, and no one was the wiser. It was the first time I felt the peace of knowing I could find solace outside, alone. I’m not sure I would have described it as such as a twelve-year-old, but these many years later, I see that morning was a defining moment. And so, it has continued, alone in the dark, watching many new days approach.
With age, comes wisdom, right? Isn’t that adage that is repeated and revered? Honestly, wisdom is great and all, but I would rather know that with age comes a willingness to change, to evolve. This morning, I woke with the intention of greeting solstice alone, but before I got my socks on, I knew that it didn’t feel right. I prodded Dave awake with the invitation to join me. I promised hot tea and a post sunrise pastry reward. We went up on a ridge above town, with the Sawatch Range to one side and town spread below us. It was cold and windy. But a gathering of pinyon jays joined, and the view was spectacular. And it was sweeter sharing it with him. An excellent reminder, that I don’t have to do it all alone. Even this sacred tradition has room for someone else.
So, as we journey through this longest night of the year. My wish on the morning star, is that we are all able to let in more light. To evolve. To love. To grow toward a new season. Happy Solstice!
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.