BY WINIFRED RAVENSCROFT - IOWA LAKES UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP
The winter solstice arrived with a reminder of the increasing cold, the promise of growing light and the eventual coming of spring.
Our lives are lived in accordance with the forces of nature, notwithstanding the interventions of modern life. Our ancients celebrated the solstice. It led them to establish the season of celebrations we still observe.
As the year ended and winter snows spread their protective mantle over our parched and tired land, we have time for reflection on what life has brought to us. What of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, of love received and given, of fun and adventure, of disappointment and achievement has been our lot? What has been the story of our living this year? We had perhaps better ask what we have brought to life, what script we have written, what color, texture and pattern we have woven into our own lives.
What will we take with us into the rest of the year? What will we do with the weight of the burdens we carry? What worries, resentments, bitterness, hatred, self-pity, vengeance can we let go?
Habits of the mind are tenacious. Some of our attitudes have long sustained us, justified our behaviors, informed our speech, affected our health and determined the very way we face life. We do have choices still; to let go of old hurts and grudges; to focus on the gifts life has brought us and the gift of life itself. We can then take with us all the good and productive values we hold into the new year refreshed and renewed.
When we believe all people are created equal and deserving of respect, then justice, compassion, yes, love and generosity can grow. When we appreciate the differences among us, acceptance, friendship and democracy may flourish. When we hold this Earth and the life on it as a holy treasure we will revel in the beauty and miracle of which we are a part. Then, with goodwill, we can walk together, laugh and cry together, love each other, respect life and let the possibility of peace grow.
The folks of our Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship wish for all people the joys of this season and above all the blessings of peace.