The longest night of the year will be upon us on Wednesday. I’m celebrating the night itself alone this year. I’ll go outside in the dark and cold and light a candle to bring back the light. I’ll spend some time in quiet contemplation and meditation under the stars. I’ll enjoy the pause in the midst of a hectic holiday season.
I’ve already been to two Solstice celebrations. Both of them were focused on remembering the community of support that surrounds each and every one of us. I was also reminded that often times when I don’t feel like I belong or like I’m getting the support I need, it’s because of something I am or am not doing.
For instance, it’s very hard to feel a part of the community when the only time I leave the house is to go to the grocery store. I get postings on facebook and in my email all the time about activities and gatherings going on. There are book signings and pot lucks along with open invitations to parties and ritual celebrations. If I don’t feel included, it’s probably because I don’t show up. You need to be a part of a community to feel like a part of the community.
When I’m not feeling supported chances are I haven’t asked for help. I don’t get drop in visitors, not just because I live in an inconvenient spot, but because I don’t really encourage them. If I’m busy and don’t answer the phone and don’t return the calls people assume I’m not interested. If I ask for help with a project and get referred to a company that can help, I have to count that as lending a hand. If the one person I ask is the person I already know can’t do it who’s setting themselves up for failure?
I’ve learned that I don’t have enough respect for people taking care of themselves, including me taking care of myself. I’ve learned that there are plenty of people willing and able to lend a hand, who offer, that I don’t ever call. I’ve learned that please goes almost as far as thank you. I’ve learned that any help counts as help, even if the whole job isn’t finished. These are all problems with my perception and expectations. They don’t actually reflect the world I live in.
So in my quiet and solitary celebration on the night of the Solstice I have quite a lot to meditate upon. As the light returns to the world, I would like to find better ways to nurture my own light. To truly welcome joy and friendship into my life. To recognize and appreciate all the gifts that surround me.