Ive known darkness, Ive known the depth of winter. A Winter that evades your soul and threatens to never give way to spring. Ive felt swallowed up and in despair, alone, not knowing where to turn. Yet this year has been my winter solstice, the dark days are behind me and I can feel the light returning with the promise of new beginnings and new life.
This year has been in so many ways amazing, surpassed anything I could of imagined. I feel that I know my purpose, my direction and the road feels clearer. Stretched before me there is a journey, adventures that Ive still yet to fully discover, Im not sure yet exactly where it will take me but I know that there is light and its shining brighter, beckoning me to it. If Id known a year ago all that I would be doing now I wouldn’t have believed it possible, especially of myself. Yet as the year draws to a close, it is a time to celebrate because my life has changed, Ive changed and I know there is so much more to come.
Hope is important, I learnt this so much this year. Hope gives us strength to carry on, it gives us a purpose to reach for and belief that we can achieve. This year I have seen and felt hope. Ive seen people working together, sharing stories and speaking out for change in Matexp to improve the care given at the magical time of birth. I believe that there will be changes a head but that it comes from inside us. We all have a part to play, no one is left behind. This gathering together of people, all different, all set on bringing light back to the services that families rely on, remind me of the gathering together with family and friends to share in festivals of the winter solstice that signal the end of the shortest day and the return of the sun. We have much to do but hope breathes in me that we can achieve great things, together.
As the days grow longer and the sun becomes stronger it gives promise of new life and new beginnings. It is not unusual to see early snowdrops peak under fresh crisp snow. Even during difficult times life has a way of blooming and growing, overcoming adversity and bringing forth something beautiful. For me this has been true this year. There has been the blooming of new friendships, were genuine support, inspiration and respect run through its core. There has also been the new beginnings, new projects and new adventures. From a time where I felt stagnant and restricted, unable to speak up or reach out I feel like a snowdrop that has emerged through the snow. I feel a freedom to speak Ive never had before, Ive reached out to do more than I thought I ever could and while it’s not been easy, I know that the more the light returns, the more the sun casts its warm glow, the more I will flourish and grow. Ive also seen that those around us can help us reach the light, they can help us to make it past the bleakness of winter. These we must be thankful for, that they grace us with their love and companionship and we must sometimes cut off those that seek to keep us in the darkness.
The greatest gift my winter solstice has given me is the ability to help others, to not only see that the light is returning for me but to help others see that they too are not alone, that the darkness while overbearing and cold, does pass. It has given me the healing I need to believe Im worth something, that I matter, that I can offer solace and be there for others. This is a gift I treasure, a gift I will continue to give and expand on. I have unfolded my wings and sought to fly again, to find the new me. Sometimes pain brings us gifts, these we can use to help others and bring understanding to those that struggle. In turn that gift helps heal the pain and while the scar remains, we can move beyond it and find a form of peace once again.
Sometimes in the dead of winter we forget that in the ground life lies, waiting to break forth again. It can be buried down deep, sometimes covered in deep snow. We can feel that life, or our experiences make us feel dead inside, the life sucked from us and without hope. Yet with a little light, a little encouragement and support, a little hope and by us being a little brave we can break forth and make it through. What awaits us is spring, rich in life, colour and new awakenings. The winter solstice celebrates the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness, this year I too feel like Ive had small victories over the darkness, I feel the re-emergence of me, like Ive had a new beginning. This feels like something to celebrate, so today I will have a little smile, remember all that I have achieved this year and feel proud because it feels pretty magical to me.