Somewhere tonight, in this cold, longest night of the year (at least up north), there is a party that you are invited to.
It’s where we gather together to help each other get through the darkness, where we celebrate the light that comes to the world not from the outside, but from the inside of every spirit. Every time a child is born, every time we lose the sacred fuel and have to keep on until it can be replenished, the light that comes from shared souls keeps us safe and warm.
On a long, dark night, we have the blessing of time, of time away from the hurry-up, rush-rush demands of a commercial culture that just wants us to serve the machine. In time out of time getting close to other hearts, feeling the connections becomes easier. more potent.
The only thing you need to come to the party is a open heart. Open it and everything happens: all of who you are and the gifts you bring will tumble out, while you are able to embrace and delight in the gifts of the heart that others bring to the party.
Come early and help prepare, sharing your energy and care. There is cleaning to be done, decorations to be hung, candles to be lit and food to be prepared, all the ways we make the space special and safe for everyone. Someone has to melt the anchovies, or people won’t have the special memory that brings back shared days past.
The women will come together to shine themselves up, finding the festive attire and helping each other polish their appearance so they can reveal their own radiant beauty. When we see ourselves through the eyes of others we see beyond our fears and into our possibilities. We may even try on new shoes and glimpse a new part of our glamour that was previously beyond our imagining.
There are stories to be told, the old ones that remind us of who we are and where we come from, invoking ancestors and traditions and the new ones that reveal how our essence continues to blossom in the world, reborn again in a modern way. Sharing those stories is sharing hearts, feeling the connections and opening places that we have never yet explored, or that we have put away, forgotten to make everyday life less challenging.
One more good day is always tough because we are, on some level, just frail human flesh, aging and suffering, fighting to move beyond fear & pain. Tonight, though, we can remember that we are also something more, something beyond, something that touches the eternal and the infinite. Our hearts open and the love tumbles out, the force of spirit that threads through everyone, if they are physically present or not. They live within us, captured in story & emotion, and by holding the best of them, we can find and reveal the best of us.
As the night progresses, the music moves from playful & energetic to graceful & intimate. We dance closer, feeling the warmth penetrate our skin, melting in the arms of another, safe & supported. No longer do we have to support ourselves on our own, instead swaying with partners who share the load, share the moment, share the scent, share the love.
As we drift off, comfortable in the shared warmth, our dreams move us beyond the mundane and into the places where we are able to show more of our hearts, feeling seen, understood and valued. A world where we can offer the present of being more present feels possible because we have had a touchstone of it in this longest of nights.
Rebirth comes when the spark we hold inside can kindle again, raising to a flame we can share with other humans. When they can’t move beyond their own limits to come together, life becomes almost impossible for us, alone and hurting in what feels like cold darkness.
When the sun rises again in the morning, starting her new cycle of life, giving more of herself everyday until the peak of her summer, we too can get up and get out, another milestone behind us, an another affirmation of the light inside of us written into our history.
I wish there was a physical party that you could come to tonight, seeing and sharing in a way that supported and affirmed you, but it seems to me that party only exists in our understanding and imagination. Practical parties are usually so filled with the drama of looming fear and untouched pain that they leave us more battered at the end than the beginning.
May you find that space of shared light where play, warmth and heat all add up to a celebration of love.
It is a blessing that you deserve.