Here we are. Yule. Winter Solstice. And a few other labels this year which have apocalyptically plastered across the media. But really for me the season is about childlike bliss.
Here, on day 86 of a three month Sole Pole solo expedition, a starving Aleksander Gamme, who lost 55 lbs on his journey, finds bliss hidden and buried in the last cache he stashed for himself, the first cache he left months earlier. His discovery elicits pure bliss.
As human beings, we are a diverse group of people. We come in many sizes, colors and shapes. We come from different cultures, speak different languages (even if it is all in English!) and practice different religions and spiritual beliefs. And we each have created our own learned stories, some joyful and some painful, around these past or present beliefs and practices. Even the food we like to eat and CAN eat varies.
Yet, no matter who we are or where we live, one thing remains constant: I, like many, look forward to celebrating winter holidays. By some, they’re called Christmas or Hanukkah. By others, Las Posadas, Ta Chiu or Soyaluna. Still others call them Winter Solstice, Yule and lots of other names most of us can’t pronounce. Each celebration is a little different, but the main ideas are the same. These holidays provide us with a time for reflection, resolution, and renewal.
It’s a time for giving gratitude, good will and believing in bliss – for letting go of this or that tethered emotion or experience so that we may inhabit the emptiness with complete surrender and make space for a miraculous something to emerge in its place.
Most important these festivities provide me with rituals to celebrate the balance of light and dark – opportunity to welcome the healing power of warmth back into my world – and that gives me common ground with others.
So, I enter Yule with my heart fully open, ready to challenge and let go of my own learned stories and instead, replace them with beautiful new ones created from the surrounding love of chosen family. I come with wide eyes in childlike wonder and awe and wholeheartedly embrace the power of believing – and I anxiously await like an unsleeping child on Christmas morning the opportunity to embrace the intentionally chosen diverse beliefs and said symbols of those beliefs that each person embraces as part of the fabric of who they are – whether it’s a Yule log, a Christmas tree or menorah – whether I believe in it or not – and join together with you in a future full of mutual bliss.
With respect, love and light,
And in honor of pure Bliss, I bring you Radiolab’s Bliss