Today is the perfect day for the solstice: cold, crisp and snowy white. And while this sabbat is meant to ring in the returning of the light, it's important to remember that with this being the longest, darkest day of the year, some time should be spent in contemplation of that darker side.
Before the lights are turned on, the candles lit, the drinks poured, the food shared and the warmth spread, take a few moments in the solitude of this cold winter's day to actually feel that quiet. I like to take some time to be alone with myself (preferably outdoors beneath the glorious moon) and take stock of my life, including all the less than lovely things in it. I give thanks for what I have and I spend some time thinking about that which I don't have and why this might be so. I let go of that which is old or dead and make tentative plans for the new year and all the possibilities that new life and light will bring to my humble world.
Feeling the darkness of this day is equally as important as being joyous in its light. Being alone with it (even for a moment) is as important as being surrounded by friends and loved ones, for without the dark there cannot be light. And without the introspection there cannot be an outward celebration.
Photo courtesy of the amazing Giles C. Watson on flickr. Thanks again, Giles!