2022 Winter Solstice Poem
For months the nights have stretched e’er longer
as rhythms grew slower and nature’s pace calmer.
Since Samhaim the world-veils grow thin; our dreams deep,
as emotions and notions weave themes in our sleep.
Like many, for me days are filled with life’s chores:
going to work, household tasks, and errands galore.
While lately with performances, crafts, and visiting stores,
the task-list has swollen to burdensome scores.
All the bustle and pressure to get cards and gifts sent,
to sing every concert and attend all events,
can distract me from this winter celebration’s intent:
to turn inward, reflect, to nature’s easing cadence assent.
So now as the hours approach Solstice midnight,
I make time for this meter by pausing life’s crazed flight
to remember the celebrations, traditions, and rites
that plead for safety, health, belonging: our human birthrights.
The most ancient rituals I know for this night
are of yule logs and candles blazing alight,
piercing darkness with hope that Sol will reignite;
and of evergreen boughs pleading that crops will return
as days lengthen in Spring, bringing warmth in its turn.
The outmoded fear that night would ever increase
I see echoed today regarding battles without cease
among Nations and Parties, even families that divide
into us / them: citing differences, all choosing sides.
Drown’d by deadlines, family, parties, and ads to gift/spend
it’s easy to lose sight of what our traditions intend:
to bring hope, and remind us of what all humans need:
to be viewed with compassion, and with tolerance to lead.
So I pause, meditating with my decked Solstice tree,
whose verdant boughs and sparkling lights resound ancestors’ ceremony.
And I pray that as day breaks we can all take from our dreamscapes
inspirational clarity to reality reshape
till no being goes hungry, the wealth-divide recedes,
and a sane collective vision for Earth-health succeeds.
These goals may seem lofty, even unviable perhaps
but without that shared intent I fear Gaia’s imminent collapse.
May our long nights of dreaming grow into days of waging peace;
may divisiveness and bigotry evermore cease.
As dawn-ribbons blossom and overtake the night-sky
I wish your hearts joy, peace, love to ceaselessly magnify.