Winter Solstice

By Julia Slotnick

Last week, I walked by Tenney Park and noticed the wind off the lake at sunset, right after my work day, savored the light. I feel like the winter solstice is one of the most hopeful days of the year and yet the darkest. Life can be like that too, I guess. I feel like the weeks around the solstice allow me some introspection and really intentional space to practice gratitude and patience. For me, these days, that looks like naming the feelings I have when I look at the clock in the evening and reminding myself to think of something learned in the day or something simple that made a difference in the day. Somedays I feel like connecting with others about this practice, also give myself permission to be uncomfortable about winter….because it’s a season. 

Every year, members of the downtown Madison community host the Longest Night Memorial. I attended last year with a spiritual lens, and value the presence of everyone to bring awareness and dignity to the lives of individuals who have experienced homelessness in their last days. This memorial is simple and honors the light of individuals that have gifted this community, hope for a healthcare and justice all year.

I like to mess around with plants. Last year, I had basil flowering in the window all winter, a new record for me. My houseplants lean towards the window, cold as they may be. I guess we’re all kinda like that, leaning toward sun or whatever nourishes us. Chrysalis Pops crew gets excited about compost, messy and slow and stinky very important work… For some kinds of plants, the winter solstice is the start of buds, the marked time for the new start and wow–, it feels like a long time to wait for flowers…

I know you’ll find some ideas to support you this winter…and you can always call Chrysalis and think about going for a walk with us.