When dawn broke through the trees in my back yard early this morning (the shortest day of the year in this part of the world), winter officially began, bringing colder temperatures, snow, rain torrents, dangerous icy roads, power outages and darkness.

This day, when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the Sun bringing the fewest hours of sunlight of the year, many find the darkness depressing, the cold unbearable, and the ongoing pandemic with its latest Omicron strain frightening.

The very word ‘winter’ can bring far more to mind than simply the weather and the ‘Winter of the Soul’ can emerge in hearts that have become cold because of fear, hatred and chaos.  Not surprisingly, in response, many conjure images of summer with its warmth and sunshine and make plans to travel to sunny climates.

This winter, most of those plans have been cancelled or are on hold because of the pandemic.  But perhaps this Winter Solstice, Albert Camus can encourage us to discover “an invincible summer” within ourselves:

“In the midst of hate,
I discovered within me an invincible love.
In the midst of tears,
I discovered within me an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos,
I discovered an invincible calm.
I realized through it all that,
in the midst of winter,
there was an invincible summer.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me,
within me there is something stronger
something better,
pushing right back.”   

In winter, even in the pandemic, may there be “something better, pushing right back.”   As this, the shortest day of the year, marks a shift in the weather, darkness slowly begins to recede, light begins to expand and days begin to get longer, so too, may Winter Solstice bring its light of hope of an “invincible summer” to each of us and encourage a ‘break-through’ of the “Winter of the Soul”  … giving time and space to look-within and nurture connection to Spirit.

May this be a Blessed Winter Solstice in ways we cannot even ask, let alone imagine.   Happy Winter Solstice.



© June Maffin