The Solstice is upon us and the chill of Winter is reaching deeply into bone. This year, in particular, is one that has tested the boundaries of cold and feeling isolated in a vast tundra of unknowing”ness”. Things change from season to season and in the never ending cycle that is life itself, Gaia remains steadfast and strong in offering up her body as our home and our refuge as Her fires burn brightly. 

Even though I know this to be true, the memory of her fires fades as the Light of the Solstice returns and Summer takes hold. But now, this is the time of remembering as the nights have grown longer and the cold seeps in, and I feel a chill that cannot be heated by physical warmth. This is a cold that holds the space of awaiting the stoking of the inner fires that resonate with that of Gaia and fuel the yearning, to once again, be held in her embrace. 

And, so I stand under an arch of evergreens at the edge of a forest, looking out and up at the cold winter night sky. The expanse and darkness of ancient tree and deepened paths at my back and still, they are not able to shelter the blowing winds that move through me seeking the warmth of Mother Earth. This place knows me and knows of my need to remember and awaken in the quickening of my Earth Mother’s care. 

I close my eyes, breath chilling warm lungs as I inhale and give thanks for the strength of my body anchored in the place of my standing. Under the frost and rigid ground life is resting, but will soon quicken as Gaia reaches upwards; Her fiery fingers of quickening life touching each seed and stirring the earth into awakening.  

I take a few steps forward and off in the distance the sound of bells echoes through the night. I envision the winds playfully rushing through a set of glass chimes hanging on the porch of a cabin home. The occupants sleeping soundly and warm in beds of softness and wrapped in feather down quilts. They breathe a quiet breath of calm and peace knowing only that night has fallen and the body seeks respite from the day’s work. The only sound of welcoming the Solstice Light and calling Gaia’s Fires held in the wind quickened chimes. 

All too soon this crystalline sound is replaced by silence. A silence and stillness that is full and binding in its intent. Intent to hold me there in its potency; excited and awaiting what will be birthed in its willful pause. A flash of chill passes through me stirring me from my reverie of silence and I feel the gentle pressure of a hand that comes to rest on my shoulder as you come to stand beside me. 

You have travelled through the night to be here with me as we await the rising of Gaia’s Fires. Alone and in the silence, you have moved through the forest; eyes keen on the unseen path; your promise of reuniting on this night always kept, always honored. I look back at you and see the darkness in your eyes; the memories you hold of my journey through this year. In the depths of your gaze I see all that I have accomplished, all that has failed and all that simply “was as it should be”. These were my steps taken when I moved from this night and the call of the Solstice Light and each held the promise of oaths I made to enrich and support my journey forward through the seasons. I look away for a moment and, I sigh with a deeper yearning still, to remold and reshape what has been with the oaths I make this night for the year ahead. I close my eyes drawn into the comfort of time. Time that spins eternally and offers hope in its woven tapestry. 

But, your gaze pulls me back to the deep pools of sparkling eyes and I see the frozen streams of Gaia’s tears thawing and running fierce and strong as Spring and Summer took hold. I see the blossoming of Gaia’s cloak adorned with flowers, herbs and life as Spring and Summer called them upwards from her fiery belly. I see friends and family, loved ones and those who are strangers going about their daily tasks; some in reverent spirit to the earth Mother’s gifts and others numb and unaware of the life that flows beneath the concrete and stirs the polluted winds that surround. 

Your words encircle me and the chill is deep and the longing is potent and ready to stir the fires beneath. “It is time”, you say and I take your hand in mine. The spark of you my friend, my past, my shadow that has followed from Summer Solstice’s Light- ignites the cold within me. You and I are one and as the first rays of Winter King’s Sun flick across the horizon, I draw up the Fires of the Great Mother. 

The heat rises within me as the Sun rises. Gaia arises within me extending beyond and awakening All to Her mysteries of renewal. Gaia arises and on this Solstice day and on each that will follow a quickening is offered that will sustain and bless as Her Fires warm in the cold of winter. 

I leave the darkness behind and I return to the comfort of Gaia. The comfort of Mother Earth holding me strong upon Her body and in resonance with the changing of the seasons and I make oath to honor Her wisdom is all things. I breathe in the crisp clean air and I hear the crackling of early morning frost yielding with each footfall. The smell of a hearth fire hangs heavy in the air and just ahead of me I see the small figure of a child running towards me. A child, that not long ago lay sleeping soundly and warm in a bed of softness and wrapped in a feather down quilt. As we come nearer to one another, she calls out to me, “Momma! Happy Yule!”.  I scoop her up in my arms and her voice is like the sweet tinkling of chimes moving in a gentle breeze and at that moment, I am Gaia and my fires warm the body of my child on this cold winter’s day.

Starlight and brilliance of
Sun's solar flare drawn up
By Gaia’s hand as she paints
A white and golden red
Woven tapestry of earth’s fire
On the jet black Cosmos.

Rainbow of color bursts forth
A radiant crown embossed
In a pattern of frosty cloth
Textured and etched by time
In crystal and stone.

Blackness of heated striation
Of rock's core as gentle bud
Pushes upward towards sun's
Radiant blessing as Gaia’s flames
Rise high gently held in the Solar
Child’s orb of Light.

Many blessings of this Solstice-2016... Robin

Post Image: Caitlin Fennelly, Lux