“they who sing through the summer must dance in the winter.”
here’s to the winter solstice
image credit: Jana Vashti
today is the summer solstice which marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the shortest in the southern hemisphere. cultures around the world have marked the solstice throughout history as a moment of importance both for the changing of the seasons and for our relationship with the sacred.
this solar moment marks what is known as liminal space, or space between. the concept of liminality is more than just a space between two distinct times; it’s also a space in which rules are temporarily lifted, and roles are reversed.
if the concept of liminality seems new to you, think about all of the liminal spaces in your own life, birthdays are a great example as they’re a space between ages and you’re granted temporary permission to do exactly as you please. part of liminity is that it shows up to transform you, and then it ends. in the example of your birthday, you’re now a new age.
“the question is not what you look at, but what you see.
it is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon,
from a point a hair’s breadth aside from our habitual path or routine,
to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance.”
― henry david thoreau
art credit: cy twombly, le jour ni l’heure: quatre sagioini: estate (the four seasons – summer)
credits: emily ridout, elephant journal, merriam-webster dictionary
now that the day of winter solstice has passed
we are already adding seconds/minutes of daylight to each new day
working our way back toward the summer solstice
i hope to use the extra light wisely.
6,400,099,980 moments constitute a single day. every single one of those moments provides an opportunity to reestablish our will. even the snap of a finger provides us with sixty-five opportunities to wake up and to choose actions that will produce beneficial karma and turn our lives around.”
-dogen zenji-13th century zen master
(as quoted by ruth ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being.)
my children, friends, family, co-workers, and visitors of all kinds, know that i love my coffee. new, old, freshly ground, from a bag, from a tin, just dripped, just perked, re-heated, from all corners of the world, as well as the local coffee shop, gas station, or grocery.
when i make my own pot of coffee, i love it strong, black, with a bit of cream. i love to heat what’s left, in the microwave, or on the stove, over and over, until it’s all gone. it gets stronger and thicker and more potent with time. my daughters have taken to calling it my ‘chernobyl blend,’ my version of ‘turkish prison coffee.’ at least i know i could survive most any coffee, most anywhere i may find myself, be it a prison, a truck stop, or at home in my own cottage kitchen. and that’s a life skill.
here’s wishing you a hot cup of coffee, however you most like it, wherever you may be, on this, the shortest day of the year. and if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by my cottage in the morning, for a cup of my own special blend. we’ll share a pot, and toast to the beginning of a return to the long and brighter days of sun. happy winter solstice!
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. –Abraham Lincoln