There are so many things I have done and seen in Paris that I haven’t had time to tell you about. Today, however, wasn’t one of those days. Today was the winter solstice, my very favourite holiday of the whole year, not to mention the end of the world. It seemed a good day to take a walk and sit by the fountain in the Jardins des Tuileries and just think.
It was overcast but not cold. Just windy enough for the water to ripple and lap against its edges. I tuck my feet up against the arm of the chair and even do a little bit of journaling. It is quiet (for Paris) and I almost feel like I am near nature of some kind. (The seagulls swooping about are at least plentiful and there are trees in the background.) I pretend I can take a deep breath of fresh air rather than inhaling the usual Parisian smog.
The winter solstice is a time when the whole world hangs at a fulcrum, it is the tipping point between light and dark. Anything seems possible on this day when the world reverses itself and daylight begins to return. Anything seems possible on this day where there is such a tangible shift in our physical world. It is a chance for us to, to make tangible shifts in our own worlds. For me it is traditionally a day of quiet and solitude where I reflect, and create perhaps not resolutions, but thoughts for the new year. I try to find on aspect of my life that I would like to let go of and one aspect I would like to nourish. Instead of resolutions I focus on this representation of the dark and the light in my life and concentrate on making these changes.
After sitting in the gardens I walk the short distance to the Musée de l’Orangerie where there are fabulous murals by Monet. The massive paintings are peaceful and it seems just right somehow to sit and view the almost abstract representation of waterlilies.
To be honest I haven’t chosen my dark and light for the coming year, it’s something I hadn’t thought about until just today. But before today is over, I’ll write them both down, I’ll make a promise to myself, and I will step out into this newly illuminated world with a refreshed sense of purpose, as well as a refreshed sense of self. Enjoy the shortest day of the year – tomorrow will be just a little bit brighter.