From Solstice to Solstice

I awaken early in the morning to the softly falling rain, and imagine what the river might be like. I am sure it is swollen as it continues to release all that does not serve and nourish it, in preparation for the end of this year and the beginning of the next one. But I will not have time to visit it this morning, for I must sit and meditate, and then ride out to the other side of the river, to take my last yoga class of the session with my teacher. It is also my last class with her as her student after three incredible years under her tutelage...

I have learned much in her care - both as student and as teacher - more than can ever be articulated or shared here in this one entry - but much of which I have already documented in my blogs and other writings for the last few years...

I ride in reflecting on the impact my teacher has had on my practice and my teaching. My thoughts also turn to many of my own former high school students - spanning several decades - that are now re-connecting with me through the miracle of the internet and social communities online - and sharing the impact I had on them. I also think of all the yoga students I have had the honor to meet, since I began teaching in 1997. Truly, everything comes full circle. We give - and we receive - and then we give back again...

I thank my teacher and we embrace warmly. She wishes me luck and urges me to take care of myself in the midst of my injuries. It is an end of an era I did not anticipate, even a few weeks ago...But sometimes we receive messages quite strongly, and unequivocally know that it is time to move on in order to continue to grow...

Tonight is the longest night of the year during a season that invites deep introspection on so many levels...

My thoughts later in the day give into an inclination to review - not only where I have been from the last solstice to this one - but to also consider all that has transpired from last year's Winter Solstice to this one...

There is a sacred energy at this time of the year for many reasons. Interesting things have happened in the skies and the heavens of late, and of course, different religious traditions have much to celebrate and commemorate as well...

These are the lyrics to a new song by Mary Chapin Carpenter on her new album entitled, Come Darkness, Come Light, and it appropriately deals with this day and night...

The Longest Night of the Year

"They say that spring will come again
No one knows exactly when
Still, the sun's a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year

We stare into the firelight
While December beats outside
Where the darkest hearts reside
On the longest night of the year.

So keep me safe and hold me tight
Let the candle burn all night
Tomorrow welcome back the light
It was the longest night of the year

I used to think the world was small
Bright and shiny like a ball
Seems I don't know much at all
On the longest night of the year

We press our faces to the glass
And see our little lives go past
Wave to shadows that we cast
On the longest night of the year

Make a vow when the Solstice comes
to find the light in everyone
Keep the faith and bang the drum
On the longest night of the year."

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