The Longest Night

The Winter Solstice, shortest day of the year, longest night. It had me thinking a little.img_1502

This time of year the nights are clearly at their fullest and darkest though if you live in an urban area you really wouldn’t notice much. I was reading from a very unlikely source (an ode to black by Pantone) about “re-evaluating the colour black and the meaning of darkness”. Something I’ve actually “been into” for a while.

Our contemporary world is all about praising the light, the bright and shining. But as the nights draw in early can we consider the richness of experience found in darkness? Talking to my girl tonight about the stars being more visible in the dark skies in the little corner of France my parents live in, I am reminded of the importance of the dark.

Those winter months are opportunity for deep rest and space for going within and nurturing projects internally the way a mother carries a baby in her womb. It’s a time to stay in our cave and not overstretch physically, emotionally or energetically but to come back to healthy home routines that keep us grounded, rooted and present with what comes up for releasing. It is a time to honour your inner rhythms for more pause, easing off and allowing quiet. We shouldn’t be scared of the dark but see it as full of potential and a container for the light to come back, for ideas to fully shape before they are launched. Darkness is fecund, potent and fertile.

So I’m all in praise of black, not only is it slimming (tick) it is also the embodiment of slow, real and authentic. It gives flesh to the spirit. The light cannot be appreciated and created until after the shadows have been recognised, acknowledged and appreciated. You must tend to the wounds and the hidden aspects of yourself, those you don’t want people to see before you can be your full positive potential.

This might be particularly on topic considering the politics of the moment. Whatever is rising in the outside world that we are not liking needs to be addressed and in all likeliness it is rising so that we can address it. Only if you meet the dark can you free it and let it go, doing anything less will allow it to creep back again and again in the worst places and moments. I speak from experience.

The old stories speak of winter as the time when Persephone, the Greek Goddess descends into the Underworld to meet tests and trials, on the Solstice stories also tell of the Goddess bearing a son, bearing light and the return of the Sun. So we celebrate the dark and the light in equal measure, feeling glad for the return of the light, days getting longer again and the next phase of the season.

Happy Yule!

p.s. If you are on instagram and enjoy a cooking recommendation then here are the masters of sombre ambience playing on dark shades with earthy simple honest food: @thefreakytable, @linda_lomelino, @mademoisellepoirot, @twiggstudio, @evakosmasflores, @thekitchenmccabe, @silvia_salvialimone, @catherine_frawley and of course the one and always, who knows how to do dark & light in just as beautiful proportions @thelittleplantation

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