This December I have tried to have a month-long Solstice celebration by focusing on making connections with the natural world each day rather than getting caught up in the human imposed call to make merriment in the form of partying and shopping.
Tonight as the sun set, I thought about how different this December with its nature focus has felt compared to past Decembers filled with human busyness. A few words came to mind. Peace, Silence, Wonder, Love, Present (as in being present, not buying presents...a big difference!), and most of all Gratitude. I have never felt all of these emotions with such depth before and I believe getting away from the focus on consumption or the meaningless small talk found at so many holiday parties this time of year made all the difference.
Touching the trees, looking up into the star-filled sky, walking beside a flowing creek, listening to the voice of the wind, and breathing in the scent of pine made me feel so alive. I feel as though I have awoken from a long, dull, sleep. The longest night of sleep, I suppose, and ready to embrace what the new day will bring.