TRUE MEANING OF WINTER SOLSTICE
By NOEL SINGLETON
The significance of winter solstice is that life and light return after the longest night – return as they always have, again and again forever. There’s more than an allegory in that. Here again, our Pagan ancestors supplied a most authentic “reason for the season,” understood by natural peoples for 30,000 years and more.
Nichiren, the Buddha of our age, said, “Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, which never fails to turn into spring. Never have I seen or heard of winter turning into autumn. Nor have I ever heard of any believer in the Lotus Sutra who remained a common mortal.” In other words, faith in the absolute truth – the wonderful law of the universe – secures life everlasting. As a bonus, if we are diligent, prayers in this life are answered, strengthening our conviction.
Because I am a nurse, I know a grown man who believes in Santa. I helped him send off a letter to Saint Nick the other day, and now I have to get at least two of the items on that list for him, though my income has dropped off sharply. I think maybe he is the only person I’m shopping for this year, and I think maybe that blesses me more than it does him.
When snowflakes and lacy frost arrive, may we stop and consider the point that the complex beauty is not imposed by anyone but comes forth from intrinsic properties in a wondrous, living cosmos.
Shawn & Noel Singleton