Even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since the Winter Solstice, I can feel the light returning to my world already! For me, I notice the light returning after the celebration of the new year. It’s like there’s an explosion of light and energy that happens on that evening, and slowly, I begin to return to the world of form, of schedules, of doing.
Author: Rev. Samaya Oakley
As the yearly wheel brings us to the month of December, I feel deeply the loss of light as the nights continue to get longer and longer. Somehow it does not feel right to go out for my afternoon walk at 4 pm and return in full darkness. As people have done for millennia, I’m looking for ways to keep things warm both emotionally and physically as the colder weather settles in. I’m making a point to schedule in time to engage in rituals that help me tap into that deep inner light that exists deep within me – that exists deep within each one of us. What does that even mean, some might ask.
“There are times in our lives that call us to rise above a situation no matter how challenging it may be. From this higher perspective we can search for deeper meaning when trusting our inner light to guide us.” – Robin de Lavis
During those times, I tell myself it’s the wind’s job to blow all the leaves from the trees. I
tend to look to nature for my spiritual lessons and October reminds me to let the winds of
change blow in my life and to clear away the old, unnecessary things or habits so that my
mind, body, and spirit can prepare for the winter months. There are several tools and
rituals that I engage with to help me do this.
We all have been through a traumatic time over the last three years, and we are not out of the rapids yet. I’ve started to think of this river of life that we are travelling on. Some of us are in canoes, others are in yachts, some in rafts. This pandemic has affected each one of us differently and what we all hold in common is that we all have been affected.
Over these lazy, hazy days of summer embrace the many ways life calls to each of us to notice the small things in life and appreciate them.
What are you letting go of so that new growth can occur? As you explore this question, I invite you to hold yourself with tender compassion. Letting go of that which comes from being a product of that time into being a product of this time.
The practice of sabbatical provides both the Minister and the congregation with an intentional time of renewal, rejuvenation, and learning that prevents burnout and helps to make our longer-term ministry more sustainable. As a point of history, Unitarian Universalists are among the first to develop and promote sabbaticals as a valid and valuable practice for both ministers and the congregations they serve.
It is when the magic that is felt at times like this that I can most clearly connect with the power and the glory of the story. The feelings of warmth, intimacy, closeness when a child is born come alive at this time of year.
On Saturday November 27th, 2021, at a Special Meeting, Canadian Unitarian Universalists voted to approve adding an 8th Principle to the current seven Principles:
“We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in ourselves and our institutions.”