Monday, December 22, 2014 • 5:18 AM Comments ()

One Day After the Winter Solstice

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

The rush to the shortest day has ended, although there’s still a day and a half of school left, and rushing, rushing before the daze ahead. We’ve got about 30 on Thursday here. We’ve got all that stepping out of time, which comes with a vacation-slash-holiday break everyone seems to have at least in part. We have rain in the forecast. Everything says to hurry up and wait.

So, we will do that.

I’ve spent a lot of time this year slowing down in a bunch of ways. I’ve done it to see what’s right here in front of me, and to quiet myself enough to listen to all the sounds right here in front of me (and, whoo-whoo, within me) to hear better what I need to do and to hear better what I want to do.

Spoiler alert: what you need and want aren’t always exactly the same. Have you not listened to the Rolling Stones lately?

Except, it seems that when you do enough of what you need, the ‘want’ part has room to grow a little louder, to raise its hand higher, and you can hear it if you try really hard (or that’s my experience).

Before I turn my attentions to the longer days (hallelujah) and the New Year 2015, I want to take some tiny piece of brain-space to acknowledge how much effort it’s taken to do the need part and start in on the want part. It’s such quiet work I can barely make myself loud enough to hear it when in conversation with myself or with those close to me and I really haven’t broadcast this further. But, friends, I wanted to say something on my blog, simply because nearly inaudible work can be brave and important. Maybe others are in quiet phases, in the midst of nearly inaudible efforts. I wanted to whisper-shout in solidarity. I wanted to say to stick with it. For all I know, this coming year, I’ll stay pretty quiet, too. And if that’s the case, I’m okay with it, more than I was as 2014 commenced.

But, I don’t really know what will emerge from this season of darkness into the next when light begins to reaffirm itself for more hours. For now, I differentiate need from want and hope there’s enough room for enough of both. We shall see. I hope the turns of 2014 leave you with a sense that what you need—and want—is within reach.

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