The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is a time of quiet and waiting, of long darkness, as the days slowly turn toward lengthening light. There is wisdom to be drawn from nature — all things benefit from withdrawal and stillness as a preparation for renewal. Just as the quiet darkness readies seeds to awaken and grow, we grow fuller after retreating. The dark quiet night soothes us when we are exhausted and need rest. Times of quiet calmness ease stress. And times of personal growth so often follow times of withdrawal or pulling back.
As winter officially begins, lengthening light also begins, preparing for the stunning reawakening of spring. One way we can nurture ourselves is to open to our own needs for pauses and retreats and to welcome them. Similarly, a thoughtful way to support our child or teen is to remember that they too need quiet times, times of retreat when not much seems to happen, before the next blossoming. This is how we develop.