When we face our individual times of darkness: whether it is grief, or a broken relationship, or illness, or what ever might come, we develop a capacity for hope in ourselves through honoring this time of year.
~Reverend Terri Hobart
We started this morning walk with a short experience of a Feldenkrais exercise by bringing awareness to the way your feet touch the earth, and then we walked in silence to the Laguna. Once we gathered, Terri told stories of the Winter Solstice and what we can learn from this time of year.
Throughout history and in many cultures, the Winter Solstice has always been recognized, marked and celebrated. In the Christian tradition, we recognize the time before the Winter Solstice. This is a time when you can sit and wait in the darkness and kindle this inner light and inner fire. It is an active waiting.
Terri tells a story of how she used to get high school sophomores up at 3am and have them walk up Mount Saint Helena. They were asked to to walk in silence to the top of the hill until the sun rose.
Terri would say to the students,
“Can you notice the moment when darkness first becomes light?”
When talking with the students, they would always speak about that amazing walk and that amazing sunrise. And, in reality, it was an amazing sunrise – as are our sunrise walks.
We mark the Winter Solstice, whether it is through sunrise walks, bonfires, or advent traditions. It is something we are really called to do this time of year.
Through these traditions, we are taught in our hearts it is safe to journey through the darkness. If we sit and wait, the light will come to us.
One of the reasons Terri asks people to sit and find silence in this time of year is so they might recognize how they can kindle the light within their own heart. When you see the light, you are also seeing the light that is coming towards you.
In the midst of the darkest times, we can always find light and inner hope.
And we can learn this hope by walking through the seasons.
I hope these reflections of hope from Terri Hobart, and the importance of this winter ritual, or whatever tradition you use, can be useful for you on your journey.
We looking forward to seeing you at the next Sunrise Walk.