Shedding Some Light

The Winter Solstice falls on a Saturday this year, and my family is celebrating. We have slowly eased into this holiday over the past five years or so, tentatively testing our traditional toes in the frigid waters of pre-Christian customs. Trying to avoid the scary “P” word for festivities modified and then condemned by more modern religions, we challenge that it is the longest night of the year. Why not whoop it up as our version of whistling in the dark?

These earth-based rituals are fodder for a pyromaniac’s dream: We assemble all the candles, light a fire in the fireplace and cook up a storm, roasting and boiling and braising to our heart’s content, emulating the glowing orb in the sky that shines down so infrequently where we live on this side of the planet.

And the noise we make would put Whoville post-Grinch-burglery to shame, much pan banging and singing and noisy call for the light’s return. Because there is a small part of us that shrinks when nightfall edges ever farther into daytime’s territory. Even though the infraction is measured by a mere collection of seconds, our soul feels the weight and regrets all the smug assumptions we’ve committed this year, and the simple pleasures we’ve taken for granted. After all, there is a first time for everything.

Including the rebirth of the Sun.

4 thoughts on “Shedding Some Light

  1. The snowy woods! So beautiful! I love the photo and I love its contrast to “the pyromaniac’s dream.” Nicely echoed in the photo with the stark silhouettes against the sky colors. I am also smitten by the noise to rival Whoville as something both hilarious and impossible to imagine. I cannot envision your family decorum so raucously set aside.

    “Whistling in the dark” says it all. Trying to bring light any way we can into the darkness. Trying to keep the darkness at bay in case it holds danger. Reaching back into ancient traditions to create new ones. Acknowledging our place in the cycles of earth. You bring a lot into this brief post. Thank you for a lovely reflection.

    1. Your mention of the family decorum made me smile, Maureen. I tell them to just imagine they’re attending a hotly contested sports event. That gets them going! This year in particular, we feel the need for some light and fun on a particularly wet and dreary winter solstice. May you have a warm and cozy weekend despite the rain, my friend.

  2. Meg

    Happy Winter Solstice! I wish the weather was a little less damp and gloomy. Left the outdoor Christmas lights on all day, that helped a tiny bit 🙂 I like a quote I spotted on Facebook: Stars can’t shine without darkness! Hugs.

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