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  • Writer's pictureTasha Harmon

My Wish for All of Us, on the Winter Solstice

This is the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year.

For me, it’s a time for reflection, for sitting with and in the darkness, in all the fear and uncertainty, and also all the comfort and quiet it can provide.

As I allow myself to be in that darkness, I find myself reaching for whatever real balms I can find for the fear and pain that are so alive in the world, and in my own heart.

And so, in case that is also your experience, I want to share these words from William Stafford’s memoir of his time as a conscientious objector working in an internment camp during World War II, which are often a balm for me.

We worked in the snow that day. First the far peaks grew vague; then the intervening sweep of space received a tremendous gentleness – spaced, slow flakes, thicker and thicker. We saw the evergreens whiten gradually, aloof in the lazy fall, and when we looked straight up, the flakes were falling dark from nowhere, down, down, into our eyes. Our trail along the mountain became a long aisle through a remoteness; and we walked back to the truck without talking. It was as if something were trying to makeup to the world for a great loss, and to put it to sleep.


William Stafford, from Down in my Heart

And here is my wish for us all at this turning of the year. 

May we open our hearts to find moments of peace, joy and rest

amidst the grief and fear in this time of darkness and light.

And may we continue to believe that the fierce, committed, practical love we must nurture and embody to create a world where we are all safe from violence and hate  

is both possible, and necessary, and that we can be a part of creating it every day.

And, if you are, as I am, feeling an enormous need to feel less alone in the overwhelm and grief of these times, I invite you to listen to this wonderful conversation: 

The conversation convener, Báyò Akómoláfé, says:

We come to you in the limitations and the playfulness of grief. We come to you not knowing the answer, not having even the right questions sometimes, but we're here to do it together in humility with a profound sense of our limitation and our vulnerability. To weave a fabric of loss that might hold us where we fall together. And this is not an obscuration of the facts, but a noticing that even facts vibrate at the speed of mystery, that facts need dwelling places too, and facts need to be held in a container of tenderness.

And so I add to my wishes above, the hope that we may all listen to such conversations, and to our own hearts, and that we find ways to open to the need for, and the power of, tenderness, withnessing (as Báyò Akómoláfé names it), and shared grief.

Yours in the struggle to be whole, together, Tasha

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