This is a lovely moment – the winter solstice.
The darkest day of the darkest week of the year . . .
. . . when the movement of descent into darkness pauses.
. . . when the rhythm of the sun pauses before it changes from decrease to increase.
. . . when the dominance of night pauses before light overtakes darkness.
If you pay close attention, you can feel it – the pause before the shift.
This darkest day beckons us to pause, too.
What does any great athlete do before they …
… dive into the water
… throw the discus
… grab the rings
What are they thinking about?
Nothing — absolutely nothing.
Shabbat means cease and rest. That is what the solstice reminds us to do.
Just stop and be.
Go a little more slowly. Be a little gentler.
Soon the darkness will begin to recede and light will begin to increase. Hope and desire will increase. We’ll think about setting goals and moving forward into the new year.
But first, take a moment to pause before you plan.
Pause and do nothing.
This is the special moment of between – the moment that separates what was from what can be.
This is my annual tribute to the winter solstice. I hope you can take some time between the festivities of the holidays to relax, reflect, and think about nothing.