It’s the week leading into solstice – the longest night of the year. As usual at this time of year, I’m finding myself wanting to hide away, to be incredibly quiet and inward, to do as little as possible, and basically to dream the nights (and days) away.
Unfortunately, my life (and even more, this culture I’m/we’re rooted within) is not set up to be supportive of this desire.
Still, I’m doing what I can, clearing my schedule in small ways here and there, releasing over and over the compulsion to do more, and making as few plans as possible for the next few weeks.
How about you?
Are you also feeling the inwards pull towards quiet, reflection, dreaming, and releasing? If so, what small steps can you take to bring more of yourself into alignment with the darkness and stillness of this time of year?
Two questions from Oak.
A couple of mornings ago, my husband took our son to school giving me time to go on a walk by myself through our neighborhood. On my way home, I stopped as usual beneath a magnificent oak… admiring the intricate expanse of their branches fully exposed against a gray sky.
As I murmured greetings and praise to this one, I heard them asking me to consider what was required for them to grow into such a full version of themselves.
Looking around, it was obvious. They were the largest oak on the block, trunks (3 of them) stretching to the sky with their branches expanding horizontally nearly as far as the tree was tall.
They had the space they needed to flourish, the space necessary for their roots to sink deep into the earth, for their branches to spread out fully in the sun. The had space to grow and also access to all the resources and nutrients necessary to sustain their growth.
Then, the question: what would it take for you to grow into the fullest expression of you?
Again, the answer was obvious – space.
Space to sink into and soak up the nutrients and connections that nourish me (body, mind, spirit).
Space also to stretch out and explore and take risks and try new things and nourish the connections that feed and sustain me and that, through me, sustain and nourish my family, my ancestors, our other-than-human-kin, the earth.
But how might this look in real life?
For me, the answer is (yet again) obvious… space… literally… open space in my daily life (in my actual day-to-day schedule) just for me… to take walks, to talk with trees, to be with my ancestors in a more focused way, to be in the more-wild places, to dream.
Back to the solstice…
Which brings me back to the solstice and this inward pull to do so little which is another way of saying… to have more space… for nothing. And also, for all the things… for all the nourishing things I tend to push away so that I can instead spend that time scheduling every moment of my life with ‘todo lists’ and busyness.
Which brings me to another recent morning…
…me standing outside greeting the morning and offering a prayer of gratitude to my ancestors. I hear myself say “with you at my side, it’s good to be alive” and am struck by the truth of it.
I’m struck as well by the realization that without my ancestors and the trees and (you, reading this) at my side, it’s very likely I wouldn’t be filled with gratitude for this life.
These relationships that nourish me, when I tend them and allow myself the space/time needed to receive the nourishment they offer, allow me to keep walking this path that is mine to walk.
In a world and time that often feels so overwhelming, when it is so easy to feel despair, hopeless, and alone, it is with my ancestors, my other-than-human-kin, and you at my side that I am able to keep showing up.
So, thank you for being here.
Thank you for being in this time of deepening darkness with me… learning to lean into nourishment, to release the unnecessary busyness, and to give ourselves the space we need to dream a new world into existence.
If you wish to receive it and if it is aligned with your spirit, this is my solstice-week blessing for you.
with great love,
ps. Everyone has loving and wise ancestors, and by reaching out for their support we access tremendous vitality for personal and family healing. In addition to supporting repairs with living family, our ancestors encourage healthy self-esteem and help us to clarify our destiny, relationships, and work in the world.
Reach out with any questions or for help knowing if this event is right for you. <3
*tree photo taken on the traditional lands of the Kalapuya, with gratitude.