Almost every culture and religion celebrates the solstice in one way or another, whether on the day or very close to it. Even for those whose cultural ties are weak and religious ties may be non-existant, the turning of the year is an undeniable and astronomic event which offers all of us a chance to pause and reflect on the good things and the hard things in our lives. The Winter solstice marks a move from darkness to light and gives hope at the same time as we remember that we are entering into the coldest part of the year.
For the Wendat (original caretakers of my current home in Toronto) and for many other first peoples around the world, the change of every season was an important celebration. Quite a few of us walked through uptown Toronto yesterday to connect with the indigenous history of the place and season. I am grateful to First Story Toronto and Lost Rivers/Rivers Rising for organizing this walk and teaching. I am also grateful to the Wendat and Wyandot elders who got us started in a good way the the old Wendat Village site.
Tonight many people will gather in Kensington Market for the annual winter solstice parade and fire. It is always a tremendous time and I will try to steel myself to ignore the forecast of drizzle and get out and walk and dance and celebrate the turning of the year–in a good way–with light, fire and friends.
One of those friends introduced me to a new song today by Arni Naiman, The Solstice Song. I decided to learn it and share it back to that friend today. Happy Solstice Susie.