Here in the north, we've reached solstice day and the longest night of the year, and with a new moon coming soon, it will also be one of the darkest. Thankfully, we have candles, fires, and Christmas lights to brighten things up, which of course is no coincidence.
These are also the days of the Green Man, also known as the Green King, the Green Knight, and various other names. His is a complicated folklore, but he is generally seen as symbolizing the emergence from winter and the subsequent rebirth of spring. A more modern interpretation of the Green Man includes a connection to ecology and sustainability, which feels very appropriate.
When my boys were in elementary school, they made Green Man masks in art class:
I love how they are so different and yet include many of the same wild and natural elements.
This brief reflection on the Green Man seems a fitting end to my year of "grow," in which I don't think I did much growing. But I am reminded that everything in life is cyclical, as the wheel of time keeps turning.
Take good care, stay warm, enjoy your favorite holiday traditions, and I'll see you next year!