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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Winter Solstice


In the northern hemisphere we're at the darkest day of the year. It happened to be a pretty spectacular day here on the Coast Salish which is remarkable because Fall's been so generous to us all this season so of course she peace'd out wearing her town clothes. She worked with sister Sun to light up the Coastal mountains in a way that I've never seen before and it was spectacular.

So what does solstice mean, does it matter? I guess that's up to you, for me the solstice's are markers from the earth and give teachings in many ways. Teachings that I can and am not sure how to interpret. For the Treaty, we used the solstice's as markers which helps embed Indigenous knowledge and system frameworks in the relationally of it all and makes my way of being feel prioritized.

Grunt Gallery always throws a great Winter Solstice party so if you're looking for something to do there's a link to more details about that event here.

For me the intersections between day/night and light/dark interest me particularly around the solstices because of how our environment is impacted. If there is an absence of light that's going to impact what I can see and so I like to take some time to think about what that means in all areas of my life. What am I ignorant of? Where are my blindspots? What's near me thats untouched? What comes out in the dark? How are my other senses intensified? What are the things I know I don't know? And for me most importantly, how can I position myself to be humbled by the things I don't know, I don't know and be open to receive those teachings.

It takes courage to journey into those dark places of our lives and we should be generous with ourselves on that journey but for me in the darkness, the unknown is where innovation and life truly happens. I was saying to someone this morning I live for those moments. I cannot think of something more exciting then someone sharing, illuminating and teaching me something I don't know. It's powerful, humbling, exciting and necessary for me as an Indigenous person.

Indigenous people have been inventors and innovators in many sectors of life and I believe that truly decolonizing for me is embodying that brave way of Indigenous living. When my Ancestors sit with me, bear witness to my life I know they are the most proud when I'm courageous enough to step into the dark, explore, take risks and create.

In high school we use to play this game called "dark tag" which I'm sure everyone had their own versions of. It was the one where you turn off all the lights and hide and one person left the room and comes back in and tries to tag someone. But it was slow and quiet and required a lot of listening and feeling around in the dark. We played it a lot during that hormonal teenage phase and I think a lot of people played it to just have the opportunity to graze by your crush in the dark. I for sure did but I lacked the courage to ever even try which I totally regret! Harley Larson if you're out there..

Juuuuuust joking. In all serious I guess that's the offer, in the darkness of solstice, with deep humility for the immense power that is dark energy and matter, we can take the time to do an inventory of where we can better respond to what the darkness calls for in us and in others. We do that to recognize the responsibilities we have to one another to thoroughly investigate those unknown areas of ourselves to be more responsive and supportive community members.

So bring it on night you beautiful beast! And also vitamin D supplements because anyone living above the 49th parallel does not get enough sun which is the main source of vitamin D and it fends of the sads.

with deep dark love for you,

kim.


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