“Your path is illuminated by the light,
yet darkness lets the stars shine bright.”
Good morning and happy Friday! Since tomorrow is the first day of winter (here in the Northern Hemisphere), I thought today would be the perfect day to share a beautiful story from author Patricia Monaghan about the winter solstice!
How will you be spending the winter solstice? I will be watching the winter sun rise and set on this shortest day and longest night of the year, reflecting on the past seasons of my life and saying prayers for peace, rebirth and renewal in this new season of light. I’ll also be snuggling my kitties, wrapping some gifts, and writing a few last minute holiday greeting cards…
If you’d like to read more about the history and traditions of the winter solstice, I have another wonderful article for you to read at SoulfulLiving.com called, “The Sun is Born Again,” by Mama Donna Henes. I highly recommend it!
Happy Winter and Enjoy ♥
“Singing to Deer”
by Patricia Monaghan
At solstice, the woods were bright in a snowy way, the sky pearl gray above the stately maples and gnarled burr oaks. An Alaskan marooned in the urban Midwest, it took me years to find this nearby patch of relatively undisturbed land where I can sense the power of wildness. Now I go there often, watching the seasons unfold their changeful unchanging patterns in the increasingly familiar forest.
I especially like to walk among the sleeping trees in the half-lit silence of winter dawns. The trail I follow winds and twists, new patches of mixed woodland appearing at every turn. That morning, I reached a point where the path turns sharply left to follow a small ravine. In spring, ephemeral ponds—lively with salamanders, loud with frogs—form in the creases of the forest there. But in frozen winter, I expected nothing beyond silence and wind.
So I did not see them at first, three deer beside three empty larches. When I made them out—gray-dun hides against a gray-dun world—they were motionless, white tails aloft like flags of distress. I stopped in my tracks, thinking how lucky I was to meet the animal my Celtic forebears called the spirit of wildness on that auspicious day.
I often encounter deer on my morning walks. The woods are close enough to roads and homes that we humans are no strangers to them. But like any animal of the suburban wild—squirrel or opossum or raccoon—the deer keep their distance. An instant after they see me, they bound silently away, their white-flag tails on high alert.
But this morning, the deer only stared at me across the ravine. To the left stood a tall stately doe; to the right, an older heavier one; in the center, one of the previous spring’s fawns, all gangly adolescence. Huge soft ears held high, they cast dark liquid gazes at me.
And did not run.
Desire burst in my heart: to speak to the deer, to tell them how beautiful they were, to thank them for bringing wildness to the edge of the vast city. To speak from my heart, my own little wild heart, to theirs. To celebrate the season with them…
Copyright Patricia Monaghan. All Rights Reserved.
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Wishing you a wonderful day!!