The shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere was noted in ancient civilizations. It seems they marked the soltices with celebrations of some kind. We have “the holidays” now, as the days are short and darkness comes early on, to cheer us up, to counter the loss of our beloved sun, and, if you are Christian, to honor the birth of a different son. Son of light. Son of the SUN, which IS our light). Even Chanukah, which some say is not of great significance in Judaism, is about lighting candles. Light.
We share with others in the form of music, of gifts, of parties, of feasting, and we look back at the year that has passed with a sense of wonder, both at what transpired and what did not. We look forward to the new year with hope but also perhaps with dread, as we know all too well that we can never know what is around the corner in the upcoming 12 months. We can’t even know what is around the corner is 12 minutes! We mark the darkness and celebrate the coming light.
So, share your light. Sing your song. Receive light and music from the world and from your family and friends. Take time out to listen to the wind in the trees, the waves on the shore, the laughter of little children, and the cheer of the crowds at the game or the show. Enjoy the cacophony of a traffic jam, or a flock of geese honking overhead as they fly, or a noisy restaurant. Listen to the world around you.
Then, go find silence. Go into your own quiet place and be still. It is from there that sound arises, out of nothing, into the world. In your mind, your ears, your awareness. If you were not there to witness the sound, would it exist? It is you that gives the sound reality.
Remember that the sound born in you, as you, through your voice, and through your awareness of what you perceive, is unique. Remember that each sound is born as you make it and dies as it is made, that you create through it continuously and spontaneously and that it is the most powerful way you can communicate with others, sometimes many others (as in an audience, live or in recordings). Remember that sound is a both a wave and a particle, depending on how you perceive it, and that its energy cannot be destroyed — just captured for a milisecond through you.
May your holidays be filled with light and sound, shining and cheerful, may your song go forth and may we all join together for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2010 and the decade which follows. Let us sing in and for the world.