Just before sunrise this fine winter morning
the familiar stars of Orion shimmer,
with his belt and his sword,
keeping watch over the night sky.

It’s quiet now, a hushed silence before daybreak.
Dappled clouds promise a sunrise
graced with shades of pink and orange
and the particular lavender of winter skies.

We slowly grow accustomed to darkness
this time of year.
Better to accept and appreciate
than rail against a season’s gifts, after all.
Long nights bring peace, bring stillness
to eyes and souls weary from
the glare of artificial light
and the rush of humanity
out of step with nature’s pace.

If you are not a lover of night,
I understand.
You were taught to fear
what lurks in dark spaces:
the boogey man, the monster under your bed,
things that go bump in the night.

But these are just stories passed along
without thought or care or even truth.
Your heart can adjust to darkness, much like your eyes.
Opening to the soft light of shadows,
breathing into the peace that comes
from not trying so hard to see
or make sense of it all.

These long nights of Solstice
can hold you tenderly,
with Orion watching faithfully from above
and the sweet song of an owl
whispering her wisdom to you…

Darkness need not be feared.
It can quiet troubled dreams
and hold the certainty that your own dark places
carry peace and softness and truth within.