We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake.
~ Marie Ray
Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit a Medicine Wheel on the eve of the Winter Solstice. A group of us walked through about four or five inches of snow in a juniper forest to the wheel. It was built on a ranch in a place called Brush Creek. My friend Colleen’s uncle, Tom Freestone, built the wheel back in the 60’s. Using a petroglyph he found on his property for the design, he had it blessed by Ute elders when it was completed. It was hard to see the wheel under the snow but what made the adventure special was the scenery and a spectacular orange sunset. The sun set into a dark cloud before we could see it lined up with the solstice rock but that’s alright. The magic of knowing that every year the sun sets in the same place on the shortest day of the year and rises into the winter season is enough.
I have to admit I’m a little envious of our Southern Hemisphere friends who are now celebrating summer. It’s hard to imagine as the wind howls outside my window this morning that somewhere else it’s balmy and gardens are growing. Where would we be without these cycles of nature, though? The cycle of growth, death and rebirth that we experience every year reminds me again and again that this moment is all there is. It’s hard, though, to stay in the moment and not rush ahead to Christmas Day and what to fix for dinner. I feel a little anxious about the New Year and whether or not I will get a product ready to launch by my own self-imposed deadline. I have cookies to bake and presents to wrap, animals to feed and a house to clean up. Thankfully it’s warm inside, our tree has presents under it and the wind hasn’t blown our house down!
Each new season brings its challenges and its gifts. We all make the transitions together and experience the cycles of the sun and moon simultaneously. Yet we filter each day, each moment, through eyes that are unique, a personal history of our own and an individual state of mind. But, we are all connected too. It’s important to reach out of ourselves, and maybe our sense of isolation, to others with love and gratitude for we are blessed to have people we can call friends and family as we journey through the wheel of life.