Blooming in the Chill
Abeyance: “a temporary state of inactivity or suspension.”
- Heather Cox Richardson's blog, 12.17.22 -
When I woke before dawn this morning it was especially dark outside, and I remembered today is the Winter Solstice. I kept thinking of the word abeyance, and the plants in the garden that have been putting out buds despite below-freezing nights in the desert, how we are suspended between darkness and light.
I made my mocha quietly and am sitting here feeling how time spent in a "state of inactivity or suspension" is vital to our ongoing growth and spirit—whether cosmic or human, flora or fauna. Personally, I have been slowly healing from post-Covid symptoms. Others close to me are doing the same, or attempting to find a new alignment within themselves in the shadows of loss, illness, and uncontrollable circumstances.
A few days ago, the orchids in the photo above were sent by new friends on hearing that my husband's father had passed, four months short of his 100th birthday. On finding them set carefully on the outdoor chair on our front porch, tears sprang to my eyes. The blooms glowed in the cold.
It seems change is calling us to expand, instead of contract, to take what few hours or moments of sunlight or kindness come our way, and see the unexpected for what it is: cyclical and erratic, upending and settling, dark and light and the countless shades of life in-between—to do our best to send out blossoms of beauty or much-needed contact through whatever way we can.
As a closing of what has been and an opening to what will be, I share Michael Meade's words:
“'As above, so below' is the ancient mantra that places humankind in the middle of the cosmic story as an essential link in the chain of being. As individuals we may properly feel frail and small; yet we belong to more than one dimension of life. And the dark time of the year is the traditional time to recall the interconnection between each of our souls and the starry universe around us. The word solstice means the “sun stands still” and ancient people imagined that the extremes of darkness harbored a timeless moment of stillness as the sun seems to stop just in time before the gloom becomes too great to recover from. Traditional cultures all over the world imagined that the midwinter sun needed conscious help from human beings to turn things around and bring back the light."*
Know I am thinking of you, kind reader, and sending you thoughts of a nurturing New Year.
*Michael Meade, Podcast #310, "Bringing Back the Light." Mosaic Multicultural Foundation.