Testing Out Trust

The Winter Solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere at 5:44 AM on Wednesday morning, December 21st. I look forward to this time of year because I’m a writer. There’s a psychic shift that says, “Good, I can stay home and think. Be still, reflect. Now, where are my books?” It is a time to allow the silence to let me in on its special secrets, an opportunity to plant myself even deeper in my interiority to see what might germinate.

But seeing is very hard in the dark of winter. In fact, all of those fire ceremonies my ancestors performed to coax the light back could not ensure the light would comfort them through loss, fear, hunger, uncertainty. They resigned themselves to dance harder, pray longer, and show up for the ritual of carrying on. In a way, they trusted.

Of all of the broad, general words that are supposed to have rich meaning, TRUST tops the list. As writers, we are told to be specific in our language choices, to describe! The very sound of trust feels a bit untrustworthy in my mouth; it’s right up there with passion, belief, special, and more remotely, amazing, vibration and truth. We have overused these words so much that their meaning has slipped away. Does anyone really know what amazing means anymore?

Trust is different because, while the aforementioned words flit about our consciousness with abandon, trust can still move us in the darker recesses of our longing. And what is that longing about, exactly? To be a better person? To be full of grace? To not act but…trust? The concept is as elusive as its dichotomy is brutal. We want to like it, want to inherit its benefit. If only it could show us how!

But the Solstice marks a time where we can test trust out. We have forgotten how to live with the rhythms of the Earth, of weather, of seasons. Although this Sun-Standing-Still event celebrates the return of the light, it is the darkness of winter we enter into. That darkness invites us to align with something more mysterious than what we can see with our eyes.

Standing in front of New Grange, the ancient passage grave in the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath, Ireland. For all of 7 minutes, the light of the Solstice will illuminate the interior of this site. Happy Solstice!!


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