Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice Celebration

Today is the winter solstice. After months of growing darkness, we will once again move towards longer days and more sun. Living so far north, the effects are particularly pronounced. The sun is rising around eight and setting shortly after four, and it will be a wonderful change to see the light gathering again.

Ofelia Zepeda, a poet from the Tohono O'odham tribe, describes a melding of body and earth/time in her poem "The South Corner." She opens: "My body is in line,” then continues, “It is at its darkest point, but only for a short time.” As the long night reaches its end, "the light becomes stronger." The speaker explains:
And so I begin another cycle
along with the animals, the plants, the oceans, and winds
and all that feel this same pull.
I come into balance.
I begin again.

I, too, feel a sense of renewal at the solstice. As such, I feel this is the most appropriate time to adopt my new name. Tonight (despite the eight inches of snow!) I plan to have a private name ceremony in which I will formally accept my name. The legal paperwork will come later, but the real change will happen tonight. I have explained my reasons here.

Have a wonderful solstice, and may the new year bring you all that you need.

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