Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I’ve been wanting to celebrate winter solstice for years now. But every year it seems to sneak up on me and suddenly it’s the day and I’ve given no thought to what, specifically, I want to do. Last year we ate dinner by candlelight but I wanted something more intentional.
This year, we are lucky to have people in our lives who already celebrate solstice. We were invited to two different solstice parties weeks ahead of time, so the day didn’t sneak up on me. However, last week I realized we had a major conflict. My dad’s side of the family, which has been prevented from getting together at Christmas for the last several years by bad weather, was having its annual gathering a couple of hours away from our home; for once the forecast was totally clear, so we had to go. Eldest, who had made arrangements with the host of one of the solstice parties to light the solstice fire, was disappointed when we discovered the conflict.
As we were preparing to head off, though, I thought about where we were going. My uncle lives in the country with ponds and woods behind his house. Surely he would have an outdoor firepit and we could at least light a fire, even if it was short. And we did.
It took much longer to light (Eldest hadn’t brought enough milkweed fluff and we didn’t have a good bridge from the milkweed to the kindling at first, so we had to forage a bit), and by the time we had a fire going, it was dark. The timing turned out more perfectly than we could have planned. So we enjoyed the fire in the dark for an hour or so before dinner was ready and then we feasted indoors.
It was lovely. I would have liked to burn a paper with my wishes or intentions for the next year, but it was lovely as it was.