Today is the solstice. On the farm this morning, the air is foggy, warmish, mystical, and full of bird life. I smile at the chittering and chattering of the pine siskins high up in the Birches. The small flights and ground hops of Juncos eating chicken feed make the earth bouncy and lively. I find this dark time of year to be generative and creative. A time where the darkness holds my joy and peace with tenderness that the sunny heat of July cannot. A time where my body is at rest and my spirit is the one who directs the actions or non actions of my days. I yearn for this time and I am so grateful to be in it now. I have a stack of about fifteen library books to read, mending projects waiting and cozy couch time to look forward to. But so far I find myself mostly just gazing out the window. Or meandering around the farm. Fewer lists. Less urgency.
I light a candle on this morning, the longest morning of the shortest day, and sink in to where I am in this moment. On one hand I am devastated. Still. At the horror and violence and death and destruction in Gaza. At the immense loss of young life. I pray for the mothers for they love their children just as much as I love mine and can do nothing to keep them safe. I pray for the fathers for they love their children just as my husband loves our boys and are also powerless to keep them safe. I pray for the Israelis who lost their children and elders and still call for peace. I pray for all of us who work for peace knowing that peace is the scariest, most radical stance one can take in the face of revenge killing and war.
I find solace in the wise words of my mentors. I am grateful for people who can feel the pain of the moment and also vision into the future and see something better. These words were posted on Instagram a few days ago by one of my North Star thought leaders Rowan White. She writes;
“What seeds are we planting and tending towards this irresistible future we are so passionately midwifing into being? What are the million courageous small and mighty acts that we offer as an antidote to the million betrayals that got us here in this moment, where we weep alongside countless orphans, childless parents and another generation of those harmed by systems of domination and exploitation. Time to evolve, collectively.” -Rowan White, Seedkeeper
As usual, the seeds answer this question and show me the way. Yesterday I noticed the fava beans I planted in October have germinated. Broke free of their seed coat. Used the energy held within to push roots down into the earth, push the first true leaves upwards towards the dwindling sun and began to unfurl. To revel in the watery, foggy, dewy air. To soak up the moonlight with us all on this shortest day, longest night. I take my inspiration and imaginative visions for the future from these leaves, these roots, and these seed coats. Yes, the patterns of colonial violence persist. But so does resistance. Around the world there are people who, like these seeds, are breaking free from norms and stale, stuck ideas to send roots down towards justice and leaves up towards peace. Our shared wounds are the seed coats breaking us free to grow into new worlds. We are gathering together to create new ecosystems of love and care. Of understanding and of grief. This has always been true and will continue to be true.
Listening to This Conversation between Bayo Akomolafe, Sa’ed Atshan, and Cecilie Surasky on the For the Wild Podcast reinforces this truth for me.
Happy Solstice to you all. May this time of darkness be kindling for your inner fire. May Orca whales swim through your dreams and fill you with hope for the future. May you experience the creative torpor of this time, for even a moment, and do what nurtures you. May you break open your seed coat, send your roots down and grow up new ideas, ways of being, and life inside of you.