Return of the Light
Note: This was originally published three years ago, but its sentiment still holds. May you too celebrate the returning of the light on every level!
The longest night of the year is over. The light is returning.
The pause is to be noticed, like the moment between the inbreathe and the out; the out breathe and the in. Celebrating this time joins us with all who have done so before, including those not so immune to the dark and the cold.
Yes, we have the illusion of control of the dark with our electric lights, and we have the illusion of control of the cold by our heating. But at what cost?
At this time of the celebration of the winter solstice and of the incarnation of the divine child, it has never been more important to keep our candles burning, our hopes for the planet stoked. For me, nothing does this more than gratitude and joy. Gratitude places me in proper relationship to the Other, whether that be our family, our ranch, our community, Earth, the Divine. And joy opens my heart to receive, makes life’s simple pleasures enough.
My gratitude extends to the many plants on our ranch which have served us with sustenance and with a path of living this year. Learning and using the medicinal and nutritional aspects of lavender, rose geranium, and helichrysum italicum, has not only healed Donald and me on occasion and, yes, even our goat, Gaviota! but the plants have also served as teachers. Steiner called the farmer the quintessential — consciousness. These plants, and others… the grapes, the garden, the many natives: valley oak, black oak, coastal and interior live oaks, toyon, wild blue rye, shooting star… the list goes on and on! —these teachers weave us back into the landscape, reminding us that we are only one part of the whole, and a younger part at that!
Donald and I are grateful to you, dear Readers and Customers. You have provided human warmth to our farming efforts. I love to package the essential oil and hydrosols, imagining the healing essences of these plants traveling all over United States to heal and delight you.
I am grateful for the coyotes yipping at odd hours all night and the white ghosts of barn owls swooping soundlessly over the meadow at dusk. For the doe and her fawns who sneaked grapes despite all our efforts to fence them out, and yes, even for the pack rats! for the presence of these wild critters reminds me of balance, and that when they are here, all is well.
I am grateful for the 2.5 inches of rain this week and for some movement in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference and the growing flame of awareness among nations that our relationship to the earth and to each other is interconnected. That we can still take up the challenges of the quintessential. That it is critically important to our survival that we do.
May you celebrate life and the joys of this holiday season with family and friends and feasting. May you fan the fire of hope for our planet through everyday action. Don’t sink too long into despair—that is the lesson of the season: it is turning. As the last line of the solstice song says, The light of the sun is born in the longest night!