Illustration: The Magazine of Yoga
Winter – Solstice – Spring
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST JOANNA HELLER
December 21, 2010
We had a red moon last night. Blood red, one man said.
I missed it.
I reminded my friends to see it. I woke up at 3 am, got out of bed and peered out my bedroom window. Nothing. I tried the other windows.
Nothing. Unbroken dark sky.
I stepped outside my front door, then my back door, saw no moon – no red moon, no moon at all. The only punctuations of light were the night lights of my neighbors.
The earth was between the sun and the moon and some hill of the earth was between the moon and me.
Still, a memorable day.
The winter solstice and a lunar eclipse. This day of the solstice is called the first day of winter, but I have been full into winter for quite a while already. To me this feels like the turn around time.
How could we call this day the first day of winter? Our late afternoons are cold and dark by Halloween, we dig out down jackets, gloves and boots and check storm windows way before Thanksgiving, and only ten days hence the big winter holiday celebrations and the calendar year as well will be gone.
And bigger still – the longest nights and shortest days are now changing places, reversing themselves. Every morning it gets light just a bit earlier and every evening it gets dark just a bit later.
We are moving toward the front edge of spring and I am thinking about the fluidity of light and time.
The sun is getting higher, our afternoons are stretching out. The beasts in their winter nests, the seeds and roots in the frozen ground and the bare trees, tall and linear, will soon stir and sprout their new greens.
January 1, 2011
We are already into a new year and the discarded Christmas trees are piling up in the big entrance parking lot at the beach waiting to be chipped and transformed into mulch for new spring gardens.
I hold onto the winter time still here for walking in the cold air and straightening up my stuff – extra clothing, accumulated mail – which proliferates when I am not watching it – all good cold season work.
And I hold onto time for staying still and centering myself.
So it still is winter but I know where we are headed … to the day when things suddenly turn soft, the air carries delicious mild breezes, the willow trees show their first new feathery pale greenness. My permission to put away down jackets, gloves and heavy boots.
I’ll be ready to move into a new spring pose.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.