The winter solstice memories
The winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is seen as the death of the sun in many cultures, because the sun seems to stand still over the horizon, giving little light and no warmth. In midwinters during the Victorian era, people told stories of ghosts: the lingering memories of what once was.
The days after the solstice are perceived as light’s rebirth. Candles and evergreens foretell the victory of the sun’s rays over winter darkness. The birth of the Saviour is recounted among Christians, a birth that was announced to shepherds by messenger spirits, and marked by a shining star.
Other stories we narrate bring back memories of family members reading to wide-eyed children in a warm and cosy home. Many such tales end with the main character finding joy or peace, and making someone happy.
The advertising onslaught, which begins months before Christmas suggests that the festive season is mainly about acquiring and exchanging gifts, donating money or indulging oneself.
I prefer to think the real Christmas spirit is to be found in sharing food, warmth, time, memories, stories and experiences with family and friends. It can also be recognised in the sense of wonderment and engagement with our lives that mindfulness can help us rediscover when habit has dulled our appreciation of the things we have.
Importance of journaling
The year-end holidays are also a time of reflection as I look through photos and read my journal, reviewing moments that are meaningful to me. These experiences are part of my story, a story I choose to share here with fellow DayCatchers.
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