Backyard, North Carolina, Winter Solstice. Long after dawn.
Today I wake to Solstice light and the sad truth that I was raised too Christian to make a proper pagan. I would have liked to rise at 3:11 as the Finger of God touched Jupiter (or something), lit a fire, smudged sage, and welcomed in the new era that all the spiritually-inclined people I follow on twitter are talking about. I would have liked to plan a ceremony, done sun salutations, written all my sorrows down on paper, burned them in the light of the first rays of sun, scattered the ashes of every disappointment into the green soft earth of Carolina, where the trees and flowers would have chewed them into food to spark new life. I would have liked to have done all that, but instead I slept too late when I knew I should wake early to beat the rush to the grocery store. Then I pinned a lot of pictures of beautiful things to Pinterest while drinking coffee out of a white mug I bought because Oprah suggested it might be classy. To spark up some fun, I burst in on Ayla, happily playing with her horses in her newly cleaned room, crouching like a linebacker with my fingers clenched like a super villian's and roaring "CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAAAAAAS!" I scared the dickens out of her, which was frankly good for us both. Last night I tried to meditate in bed, which is never a good idea for me because I just end up sleeping. But I wanted to find some peace in the holiday clamor, the most important package that may not be delivered, the bonus that didn't come. I closed my eyes and exhaled completely, hoping for insight to troubling situations: how to heal this earth, how to twice-bake potatoes, how to make both meaning and rib roast at Christmas. At this point I was still thinking I might wake at 3:11 am to the Finger of God. I can never remember the full mantra, so I repeated it silently the way I hear it: May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Not kosher, I know, but I'm a spiritual gypsy and can therefore do as I please. My mantra and deep-breathing gave no insight to my conundrums, but they did bring me a lengthy dream of Jensen Ackles in a Magic Mike-type situation, which really was better for me than anything I knew to ask for.