Welcoming the Solstice

It has been a rough few weeks and, honestly, the end isn’t in sight. We lost my aunt in mid-November, to be followed by her husband of 60 years a mere three weeks later. Another uncle is now bedridden and another is in a sudden and rapid decline into what we can only guess is a form of dementia. All of this is coupled with a blossoming new relationship in my life that brings me a great deal of joy…which has me, for the first time in a long while, looking forward to the holiday season.

Life is crazy that way, isn’t it?

And today marks the official winter solstice. Friends invited me to join them for a solstice event this evening. As I understand it, you bring with you the weight of that which has been heavy upon you in the last year and that you want to get rid of for the coming year. This can be symbolized by a stick with words placed on it and cast into a fire.

All in all, quite an appealing idea. I wouldn’t by any means categorize this as a bad year in my life. In fact, in a lot of ways, it’s been simply great. But there have also been more than a few curveballs, more than a heartbreak or two. While I am where I want to be geographically, I’m disappointed that I’m not where I want to be in other ways – and there are definitely some areas I’d like to cast into the fire and be rid of before the onset of a new year, a clean slate:

Anxiety has dogged me. It’s always been there, honestly, but 2015 was the year I gave it a name and worked hard to take its power. I haven’t won yet but neither has it. And it won’t.

Financial worries hang over me all the time. I’m simply not good with money but this was the year that I worked hard and focused my attention on getting my financial house in order. I’m not there yet but I can see some light. It’s the idea of abundance, my word of the year in 2014, that I’ve gone back to time and time again to refocus.

Heartache for those in my life who are struggling, who are facing some really, really tough things – losing a loved one, facing unemployment, dealing with serious medical issues, divorcing and so many other hard things. Not to say that I haven’t had my share as well but my empathetic nature causes my heart to break just as much for those around me.

Perhaps I’ll fashion my own little solstice ceremony and cast these things into the proverbial fire, letting the lengthening days usher in the not only a new year but a renewed sense of focus.

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