Winter Solstice 2013
To cold, darkened day from dark sleep I awake;
In the kitchen, tea, fruit, and small omelet partake.
Yawning, shuffle to work in my office downstairs
With a view of my garden: blooms asleep; trees are bare.
By this contrast I’m struck: warm and cozy inside;
steps away, lonely creatures in dank cold abide.
Here in SF are many who live out on the streets;
on days such as this their prospects are bleak.
Newtown memories, AIDS suff’ring, ills, deaths & despair,
remind me of how fragile are the ties we all share;
how unforeseen ripples, of actions we pick
can erode what before seemed so solid & fixed.
From others I hear that these thoughts can seem grim;
for me they’re just reminders our understanding is slim
of the ways, oft mysterious, our lives interdepend
with surprising complexity we can’t comprehend.
So greetings with grace and respect I extend,
to each person, for life-crossings can rupture or mend;
and with gratitude bid I hello to this day’s
fiery dawn: streaks of scarlet, rose, crimson arrayed.
As my spirit roams wide on this shortest of days
I reflect on the blessings I can humbly appraise:
My jobs, home, and partner bring joy to each hour
As do family and friends; as do chores fey or dour.
It is true I work hard; many say this implies
that these blessings are earned; that from toil they arise.
While it’s true that my efforts some province must stake
To wholly claim credit is a leap I’ll not take.
For between pain and fear, and comfort-filled days
May be just one misstep; or a ricochet’s graze.
So I’ll drink deep of Nox*-gift on this year’s longest night:
Time! to swaddle, turn inward and with reverence invite
deep reflections: of family & friends I hold dear;
of the gifts each day brings, be they obscure or clear.
And resisting the bustle and seasonal press
I will focus on love, and simple acts that reflect
age-old customs: lighting trees, hon’ring friends, food, and mirth;
rites that greet winter-death as a path to rebirth.
With a bow to what’s hidden beneath our veneers,
the sacred in both you and me I revere.
That compassionate wisdom will all ills forestall,
I pray peace, love and harmony; good will for all.
Copyright Dec 20 2013 Cal J Domingue, LMFT
*Nox is the Roman goddess of the night. From Wikipedia: “A shadowy figure, (Nox) stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of other personified gods such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. She is found in the shadows of the world and only ever seen in glimpses.