Josna Rege

Posts Tagged ‘Winter Solstice’

407. Inner Light

In Nature, reflections, seasons, Stories on November 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

It has been nearly four months now since we moved, and every day is still a surprise. By mid-November, after a succession of cold, blustery days, the deciduous trees around the house had lost almost all their leaves. I emerged from the bedroom one morning to find shafts of light streaking into places I had never seen lit up before. The leaves of the potted plants we had brought in before the first frost had been looking dull, but now they were glowing; and, I was surprised to find, so was I. 

It’s counter-intuitive, isn’t it, that as the days grow shorter, the mornings and afternoons gloomier, and the shadows longer, there should actually be more light slanting into the house? As we were turning toward the darkest time of the year, I had been anticipating a season of hibernation and bracing myself to face it. But I had been wrong. Now that the trees were bare and the sun low in the sky, there was new light coming in everywhere, in unexpected places.

In just four weeks we will come around to the winter solstice, a cold, dark, snowy time when we will have to hunker down and bundle up day and night to conserve heat; but also a time to turn inward and discover that inner light.


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237. Turning Towards the Light

In 1980s, 2010s, Inter/Transnational, Media, Music, Nature, seasons, Stories, United States, Work on December 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm
© Whetstone Press

© Whetstone Press

For seven years, between 1980 and 1986, Whetstone Press, which started out as a letterpress printing partnership run by Andrew (master printer), Eve (graphic designer), and me (Jack of all trades), designed, printed, and sent out a Winter Solstice card to all our friends and customers. After a while the demand was such that we sold packs of them through a little catalogue we mailed out to our list. There are many people who don’t subscribe to any one organized religion but would nonetheless like to mark the season in some other way than through an insipid Hallmark Happy Holidays card.

Two decades on, although one can find the odd solstice card in certain limited markets, I still feel that ours struck a perfect balance, avoiding cloying sentiment and religiosity while celebrating fellowship and light.  Pictured here are the first and the last solstice cards we made. The first was based on photographs of frost that Eve and I found in Harvard’s Widener Library, after which Eve created color separations and the sun and Andrew printed them in sea-green and gold. The last, when Andrew and I were still new parents, was designed and printed entirely by Eve, based on It Don’t Make Sense, a song by the late great blues musician Willie Dixon.

Writing on this Winter Solstice as gray fades to black, I wish to stand still for a moment, just as we imagine the sun does on this day, and give thanks to the light. Although for friends in the Southern Hemisphere today of course is the Summer Solstice, it is equally a pivot point when we can pause, look inward with the inner eye to our still, quiet center, direct our gaze outward beyond our little selves to the great, mysterious, ever-unfolding story, and be filled with awe.

Of the nearly-four years of stories on Tell Me Another, several have reflected upon this time of year. I list and link to them below for newer readers, with apologies to those of you who have seen them before. Wishing you all a Happy Solstice!

70. Party Pieces

85. St. Nicholas’ Day

86. Bottled Sunshine

131. Across the Miles

132. My Muddle

133. So Many Things Have Disappeared

152. No Swaddling, Please!

166. In the Bleak Midwinter

69.  At the Gates of Dawn

Frost  (© Whetstone Press)

Frost (© Whetstone Press)

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

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