Dark days reach their pinnacle on the Winter Solstice this December.
Given that many souls historically leave
the planet around this time of year, it’s easy to become a sucker for the dirge.
It is important to grieve our losses.
But it is also important to be thankful for their lives, and then let them go
so that we can awaken to new relationships in spirit.
And it will be a New Year soon that brings tidings of new beginnings.
If 2020 doesn’t bring a heightened sense of new vision,
then it’s hard to see what year will.
May it be good intellectual property in the Chinese-Lunar New Year of the Rat.
Try to remember the spirit of the season, and the meaning behind the holidays.
Rampant consumerism makes it hard not to get deflated about the
peer pressure to run the hurry up offense, and mad push to shut up and shop.
Perhaps we may be inspired to come down into our souls,
like our ancestors traditionally did around this time.
But remember that in the tunnel of darkness, there is a flickering light.
And that light will get a little brighter every day after Winter begins.
Before you know it, it will be the Imbolc, which signals
the approximate halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
Bears, Groundhogs, and Chipmunks are either asleep, are about to hibernate now.
But they will be waking up before too long.
They remind us not to resist turning inward to meditate, contemplate, and
rejuvinate our souls, while slowing down, and resting in our dens.
When I think about the death of Winter,
I remember my old football Coach Mac, who died recently.
He was a big man, with a heart of gold.
And he was even once crowned offensive MVP in the historic collegiate Peach Bowl.
That’s a rare occurance for a lineman, where the game is really won and lost.
Coach came into my life when I was a High School Senior,
and inspired us to live by the mantra, “count on me.”
I tried to remember that when I didn’t want to go to practice, had a bad day,
if my general spirits were in the pits, worrying about my depressed mom, or
everyday experiences with excruciating back pain at the time.
Little did I realize back zen, that embodiment of this mantra,
would become a lifeline later in life right tao.
This positive self talk strategy helped us get through a seemingly
impossible season where our players were dropping like flies.
Unfortunately, some teammates quit, got injured, or even kicked off the team.
I wasn’t the only player that didn’t come off the field
until halftime or the end of the game.
And what we lacked in numbers or size, we made up for by being slow.
But even in the curse, there were plentiful shared blessings on the field,
that have become even greater treasured lessons for life.
Like the way Mountain Lion licks its wounds, and jumps
back onto the path, after being knocked off its tracks.
When you get knocked down, you get back up, suck it up,
blow the blood and snot out of your nose, and go back to the huddle.
Sometimes, your soul leaves your body when you get the
wind knocked out of you, your ears are ringing, you
see “the flash”, and then its lights out.
Elbows, and hands inflate like balloons,
after getting hit so hard – it leaves you bruised and battered.
Days could go by before buises would come up.
By then, the scar tissue were like a new set of pads.
We learned about the difference between pain and injury.
And sometimes that’s a fine line when you can’t afford to be hurt.
Glory wasn’t something we experienced much in my High School
football days, as in we rode the wave of over a decade-long losing streak.
We were a trophy soccer town, without a youth league,
and barely enough players willing to sign up for a violent game,
for the privilege of playing on a team with a bad reputation.
You know how difficult it is to rise up out of the throes of hell,
when sleeping under the security blanket of apathy.
Riding the team bus to away games was like a riding in a herse
on your way to a funeral procession.
But when our new coach came to town,
he resurrected a new hope into our learned helplessness.
We started developing a scholarly attitude about football,
and reported on the legends of the game that had otherwise
been foreign to young players that only knew about the stars on TV.
Coach wanted us to learn how to become men,
instead of just acting like men.
He metaphorically referred to our girlfriends as “Mary Lou”,
and used to say, “you think you’re married, and you’re not.”
Coach emphasized being respectful as a way of life, encouraged
taking responsibility, and frowned upon making excuses, or blaming others.
And although he had his favorites,
he didn’t play favorites, nor did he do drama.
I try to be like him in that way, and I respect others like that too.
We were the Indians – named after a local tribed called Tunxis.
So when I remember the Indians, I think of Coach Mac.
He was a class act, and a good Chief to be touched by.
But he was a human being, and not without his faults.
People tend to forget that part of our humanity is our dark sides too.
I’ll be standing around a fire in a community of men
to celebrate, and honor this Winter Solstice.
We will focus on gratitude, and letting go.
Fire rituals can be good medicine for that.
Do whatever you can to get in touch with the natural spirit of
the season, and connect with your deeper soul purpose.
We are meant to align with the Universe,
rather than try to control or resist its power.
Till we tweet again peeps,