Mornin' y'all!

I am saying "good morning" because the sun just showed up for it, lazy, slug-abed sun, hours after the day "officially" started, with the alarm's sounding, in what seemed to be darkness of night.

It is the winter solstice, the shortest days of the year surround us, where there is more dark than light. But there is a richness in darkness, which contributes to this sacred season.

Wait - is that sacred season, or scared season? lol

The darkness is rich, but often alarms often sound in darkness.

Our own alarms go off, don't they, when a light bulb burns out, or when we walk down a narrow street under a broken streetlamp, eyes squinting to see in the dark.

Our hearts pound when we can't see, when our sight can't adjust. When where we are headed is viscous in its obscurity, sometimes we just want to RUN.

When we can't see the way forward, we might want to run to safety, to turn back to remembered light, to the known, to what seems (from the precarious "now" of solstice) safe and sure (if a little boring.)

"The divvil you know is better than the divvil you don't know" I can almost hear my (sainted) Irish grandmother saying it, as I was running away to college, "Be careful what you wish for..."

But those words were warning me off my dream, and I wasn't having it.

Flash forward to here at solstice today, seated on the precipice of NOW, with what "WAS" falling fast away and what "WILL BE" not yet visible, just a few rays of light outlining nothing in particular. From where I sit here on this island mostly royally robed in darkness these days, I think those old adages are WRONG. And maybe dangerous, as they entice us to settle for less.

The devil I know is almost NEVER better than the unknown. If I consider my "now" to be "a divvil", then probably it is time for me to get going. But so often we wait, pulled over, staying in place until the pain of staying is greater than the pain of continuing on without a clear view of where we are headed.

And as for "Be careful what you wish for"... the only people who say that are people who have put aside their own wishes and dreams, and wish we would do the same.

Leave the nay-sayers to their chosen fate, hanging out with their divvils.

SOLSTICE IS A TIME TO SHAKE OFF THE NAYSAYERS (like so much dust off our boots)... TO SHAKE OFF ALL THAT NO LONGER SERVES (or maybe never did.)

And if - intrepid soul! - you decide to move into the new, if (when) at some point you find yourself in the darkened room, or on that lonely by-way without a vision of what is in front of you, take a deep breath! And then, remember THIS oft-worn adage: "There is no going back."

We have every right, if we get scared, to turn back, trying to find where we last felt comfortable, in the sometimes EXTREME discomfort of change and evolution and dream-daring.

The thing is, when we turn back, what we left behind is not really there, at least not in the same way. Because WE have changed.

Venturing down a dream-road GROWS us... and it is hard, really-really hard, to scrunch ourself up to fit back in the box that held us before solstice arrived.

Recently, walking the beach alone, I traced the coastline with booted feet (missing the feel of the sand) for many miles. When I turned back to come home, I tried to re-trace my footsteps... but couldn't.

Some had been windblown, and some erased by waves, the tide unceasing. Only rarely could I place my foot where my own foot had struck not long before... but even then, it didn't fit, as my foot had turned to the new.

There is never any going back. Nothing ever stay as it was.

So as the days grow longer now, and we see more and more clearly what is coming toward us in this new year, maybe it's time to resolutely turn toward what will be, leaving what WAS firmly behind us.

Whether it is a new path or simply a new "us" on a familiar road, in recognizing that we always are in motion and growing and changing, we can say yes to the richness of the darkness and stand tall in the re-birth afforded us in this sacred...

Unto us a child was born who changed everything. Maybe we can, in this sacred season, follow in those enormous, tiny shoes.

Happy Solstice from Emerald Isle...