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Honoring the Winter Solstice: We Wonder Together

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

Light cannot see inside things. That is what the dark is for: Minding the interior, Nurturing the draw of growth Through places where death In its own way turns into life. (from John O’Donohue’s For Light)

Photos by Francine Maestri and Beth Norcross

On the shortest day here in the DC area, we bundled up and walked together along the banks of the chilly Potomac River and reflected on the ambivalence of the winter Solstice. How can we possibly carry the weight of these dark times and at the same time hold the hope that light will once again return? How can we understand the essentialness of darkness to our brother and sister creatures and not accept its importance to us -- physically, emotionally, spiritually? Can we be guided by their wisdom and shed all that is unnecessary, without fighting or questioning during this time? How can we go into the darkness boldly and courageously without being consumed by it? And if we live too much in the Light, will it overwhelm us? Is darkness merely an absence of light, or does it have a Presence all its own? Or perhaps the darkness is Absence itself, void, kenosis -- an emptying that allows us to fully open to the Divine Mystery?

We wondered together.

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