Honoring the Dark, Welcoming the Light

December 21st, 2009

A Happy Solstice to you! Today is our shortest day of the year. And even though we're just starting winter, I always feel a hit of joy knowing that the days are beginning to get longer now. This week I attended a sweet little Solstice celebration with some friends. Gem, who led the festivities, selected some beautiful pieces to read out loud and one to listen to. The one I got to read was so beautiful, I wanted to share a piece of it with you. It's by Chris Heeter:

What if darkness has nothing to do with fear?
Or sadness.
Or all the weight we attach to the night.
What if these dark days...
were seen as precious,
sacred even, for the very lack of light...

This really touched me. How lovely to think of this time as a sacred time to go within. I tend to think of the dark as a negative. Partly because the lack of sun has me dragging a bit and I long for the days when I can be outside more, feeling lighter and more energetic. I have to work a bit harder during this time of year to stay active and creative and joyful. But I like this idea of releasing the darkness from fear and sadness and seeing it as a special time. How can you honor the dark, the unknown, and the unseen in your life? What ideas might you want to let go of? What art could be created from it?

I often feel like art-making is a reaching into the unknown. I didn't know what was going to come of my experiments with art today. With the recycling theme in mind, I used a cardboard shape I found while unpacking some glass bowls this week. I had saved one, not knowing how I'd use it, but knowing it was a cool shape and I could do something with it. I ended up using a scrap piece of mat board, putting the cardboard shape on it, and then using a glimmer spray (which is very sparkly in person) that was given to me by my bff ages ago, to create a stencil.

I then played with ink to create the solstice image above, a winter scene with a woman carrying a lantern in the forest. Another little glimmer.

And speaking of glimmers, I had an incredible light added to my day by the arrival of this spectacular, art-filled thank you card created by a group of Art Every Day Month participants that were brought together by Laura Duldner. Thank you so much, Laura for organizing and creating this beautiful piece. And thank you to everyone who added their sweet words and art to it! It brought tears to my eyes and I'm so very grateful for all the kind words and seeing all the little pictures of people's work. So cool!!! I've propped it up on my easel for now and will be putting it up on the wall soon.

I wish you all a beautiful Solstice. May you find loads of glimmers in the darkness.

17 Responses

Hi Sweet Leah,

It sounds like you had a lovely solstice celebration. I really like the piece you read out loud.

Wish I could get together with a bunch of other artists to do a collaboration.

Perhaps someday…..

Happy Holidays to you,


Beautiful image and inspiring poem! We couldn’t have light without darkness. It’s good to embrace the cycles and enjoy each for what it can offer us, although it is harder for me to feel upbeat in the winter. Your solstice celebration sounded wonderful. Thanks again!

So inspiring. I reminds me to honor the season rather than shrinking from it.

Merry solstice to you as well. I love this piece and the recycling use, very cool. I have been saving all sorts of plastic lids to trace or dip in paint.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leah Piken Kolidas, Marie Young. Marie Young said: "Honoring the Dark, Welcoming the Light" -beautiful depiction of the winter solstice by @leah_art http://ow.ly/Opzg [...]

congrats on receiving such a beautiful card from the art group. what wonderful validation that you are following your path and where you need to be in this moment. happy holidays to you. i look forward to many more connections in this new year. warmly,

This is fabulous, Leah…hop on over to Mother Henna and add link to this one for our Solstice/Holiday Blog Fest!


So appreciate all you do with CED — you certainly keep flames of inspiration fired up around here! :)
Gentle Solstice Vibes to you!

I am making peace with the darkness this winter too Leah. I am thinking of it like the coccoon that will lead to a rebirth in the spring. I don’t think that the caterpillar is afraid, at least not for long, as she buries herself in her cozy darkness to undergo her huge transformation into a butterfly. I also think of the the polar bear who enters her cave under the snow, pregnant, and who emerges in the spring with her babies in tow – talk about a creative time!
By honoring the darkness and seeing it as a natural part of my life cycle rather than fighting the battle to deny it or ignore it, I am finding a peace in it – even a comfort in it on some days. I look forward to the quiet of January, safe in my coccoon, warm and full of creative dreams just waiting to be released during my winter creative time…

Your solstice piece is a beautiful celebration of this part of our cycle, Leah ! Happy Solstice to you, and may that inner warmth and light that shines so brightly in you keep you well throughout the darkness time.

nice post. like you, i have a hard time with the dark days, and not getting outside as much. but if it wasn’t for night we’d never see the stars…..merry christmas!

Enjoyed the post. I am a rare soul who welcomes the longer colder days of winter and we get some doozies here in the foothills of the Pa. Pocono Mountains! I emrace these days as a respite…a reason to be reflctive and quiet and restful before the rebirth of everything in the spring. It’s a different kind of art writing that is born of these darker days but it is all good. Winter gives us something to look forward to at the end of it all….=)

The card looks great! Thank you Laura! Happy Solstice ALL!

Hi Sweetie,

Boy, that card got to you fast! I’m so glad that you liked it and I’m so glad that Laura found you. Isn’t she just a sweetheart? Just LIKE YOU!!

Thanks for this lovely piece, for the reminder of the light that burns even in the darkest night and thank you again for all the light that YOU bring to the world.

hello leah,
Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful creative ideas and art prompts, for allowing me to be a part of something so special.
Wishing you a very merry christmas!

This is a wonderful picture,makes me think of all the wind farms that are going up in North Dakota,And today it’s cold snowy and windy.Or it could be a large pretty snowflake.

Mentally, I do have problems with lack of sunlight. But, found out, for one thing, I am not taking enough Vitamin D3. So I’ve upped the dosage. I was also turned on to the idea this year (duh) that though the 21st is shortet daylight hours it signals the return of the light as the 22nd the days start to get lighter by a minute each day. The tradition of bringing light into our homes is to help brighten us up but also celebrate the return of light. When you think about it like that – it’s not so bad. Plus, as already mentioned we need the cycles and, if we were left to our natural devices, we’d hibernate some what more like the animals. I’ve been doing that every chance I get and the time of rest and reflection have really helped instead of fighting it.

Another beautiful piece. Happy Holidays!

merry christmas Leah!!!
thank you for everything you do for us!

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