Today is the winter solstice.
The longest night of the year for North America.
Also, the shortest day of the year for North America.
I choose today to re-start the Dad Level Viking ethos because it is similar to how many men probably feel about their life right now. In the dark for an inordinate amount of time. Literally, figuratively, and metaphorically.
“When will things get back to normal?”
“How am I going to pay my bills if I don’t get to go back to work?”
“When will I be able to hug my loved ones who may have a compromised immunity?”
“What is my purpose?”
“What have I done to deserve this rotten year?”
Too many questions to list here in their entirety, for most of us.
Tonight is also the night of the Great Conjunction. An alignment of the two largest planets in our solar system (Saturn – named after the Roman God of wealth and agriculture, and Jupiter – named after the Roman God of the sky and thunder) in the night sky. An alignment that hasn’t been seen in nearly 800 years.
And you thought that surely 2020 couldn’t throw anything else at us this late in the game, amiright?
Conjunction means “the action or an instance of two or more events or things occurring at the same point in time or space.”
Again… a reason I chose tonight to restart DLV.
For me, the two key events that currently coincide in my life at their probable apex heights of importance and urgency within my lifetime, are the need to find new ways to provide for my family and I, and the realization that the tomorrows that I have depended on have gone away. While there are no guaranteed tomorrows, most of us live life as if we ARE guaranteed an unending supply of tomorrows, an attitude we carry right up to the point we realize, horrifically, that it was a ruse we told ourself.
There are no guaranteed tomorrows.
There are no guaranteed dawns on their way to save us from the dark like a hero on a bright, shining steed.
But we can create light.
We can comprehend what is finite, and accept it, with discipline.
We can work to save ourselves from the evils which lie in wait in the shadows, outside the flames of our own internal steadfastness and drive, waiting for us to slack to allow them to pounce.
We can control how long our nights of doubt last.
I can’t guarantee you that I can give you any of the answers to the above questions, or other questions that may be crating an unending sense of unease in your belly, but I can guarantee you that I am on this same journey with you.
I can guarantee you that I am here to rage. Not a rage against the dying of the light, as Dylan Thomas so nobly suggested in his poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”.
Perhaps I fight with more of a rage that will protect me and mine from the long nights, even when the light has died and disappeared and is a long way from being reborn and shining upon us once more.
I rage to protect my own, inclusive of my loved ones, my principles, and the union of my perceived and actual self, no matter how far they may stray from each other at times.
I rage to meet tomorrow, whether it comes or not, with a smile of acceptance and a battle hardened will that shall not fear the dying of the light and the settling in of darkness, but welcome it instead, because I have grown stronger through my victories amongst the shadows.
Join me in this fight in sunlight or darkness, strength or weakness, with vigor or exhaustion.
Pick up your axe and smile at the darkness, for it knows not what Hel it has chosen to do battle with.
Cattle die, kinsmen die,
One day you will die yourself;
I know one thing that never dies—
The dead man’s reputation.
From The Hávámal, a Collection of Old Norse Poems dating back to at least the 10th century.
I will be deleting the past. Building the now. And will do with tomorrow what I can, if it comes.