Winter Solstice

Photo: David Mulford, "Transcendence"Photo: “Transcendence” David Mulford

Winter Solstice
The longest night of the year in our northern hemisphere
The day that marks the end of a season
The expression of time and phenomena
That mark the first moments of winter.

The fullness of darkness stands
And slides into retreat.

The fullness of darkness stands
And bursts into advancing light.

The ceasing of darkness
The arising of light
Daylong shadows will soon relax their stretch.

At Winter Solstice
We leave darkness behind.
Perhaps we leave a difficult year—
A difficult phase.
But aren’t we always leaving the past behind…
Aren’t we always stepping into the future…
While we stand right here?
Right here is our life—our true life.

Winter Solstice
A marker that recognizes rebirth
A transition to a brighter life
To arising energy.

Winter Solstice
An opportunity to reflect on our lives.
When we might find fullness in twilight
Fullness in darkness
Fullness in quiet and solitude.

Directing awareness to the longest night
Invites wonder into the heart.
This longest night can bring quietude;
A questioning of the measuring of time and task.
Perhaps a questioning of the measurement of being.

What is be-ing?

Is the self that arises independent?
Independence relies on dependence.
All is necessary for the self to arise.
All is arising as the self.

Discovering the heart of direct experience
Not constancy of me
But constancy of continuous arising.
Continuous change.
Continuous presence.

Arising holds within it all arisings.
Ceasing holds within it all ceasings.
Arising-ceasing is this present moment
With the long shadows of eternity,
Before and after included.

Yet moment cannot be held
It is the fluidity of arising-ceasing
The emptiness of arising-ceasing
Where no things arise
And no things cease.

Non-duality is thorough.
Moment is not edged or bounded,
Yet moment is all there is.

The past exists now as memory
As habit
As understanding.
As ballast for a trajectory.

The future exists now as imagination
As planning
As logic
As goals in a trajectory.

To see the essence of past and future
Is to not find
An in-between.

Yet here is this experience.
This awareness.
Being is always now.
Life takes place.
Life gives place.
Life takes time.
Life gives time.
Life is being.

There is a way of living
That leaves no trace
Even while sunlight does not cease
To cast shadows.

To dwell in
And respond within
The shadowless land
Is to know the beauty
Of shadows.

Photo: “Transcendence” David Mulford.
Text: © 2014 Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.

8 thoughts on “Winter Solstice

  1. lynnsalmoneaster says:

    Dear Bev-
    Thank you for this beautiful writing and for honoring the solstice. I will as well
    be reading this again and again.

    Your intricacy of words shed light on the boundless and wordless nature of Dharma.

    Be well and Happy New Year!


    • Bev Forsman says:

      So nice to hear from you Lynn. The solstice invites quiet. And in that quiet, we can see how any time or activity exudes that same quality.


  2. Wanda Isle says:

    Thanks, Bev for sharing your boundless creativity and insight into the Dharma. Each verse a little gem of wisdom!



  3. Myo-O says:

    Thank you Bev. This is a wonderful reminder-especially now when my father is dying in the midst of family dynamics that keep death a secret.


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