It won’t be long before the Earth is tinged with color in the snowy land where I live. In these cold dark days, it helps to remember Nature is preparing for a new season. Through the winter, the oak stores the knowledge needed to make a massive tree in a tiny acorn. Soon it will quicken and sprout. The doe became pregnant in the fall and her body nurtures the growing fawn. The bluebirds traveled south for winter or took shelter in the forest here. I’ll see them in March. Monarchs wait in their winter home in Mexico for light and new growth to guide their way north and be here in June. Until the earth warms, we’ll feed the solstice fire.
From the acorn to the mighty oak…
From the fawn to the deer
From fragile eggs to bluebirds
From the caterpillar to butterfly
Welcoming the new cycle with a Solstice Fire at my son’s home with family and friends.
Blessed Solstice, Gentle Renewal, and a Peaceful New Year to you and all beings on this Earth.
What do you hope for this year? What do you long to have birthed in you and in our world? For a beautiful Solstice and Christmas story see A Husbandman’s Christmas. For an essay about creating rituals throughout the year, see Twelve Rituals That Marked My Way.
Beautiful, Elaine! it seems our earth here craves its quiet dark cold season for the hidden nourishment it provides, at least to the perennial plant life of this place.
Thanks for your reflection, Harriet. We need the cold to control various pests like ticks and mosquitoes. The cold dark season isn’t overwhelming on these days of warm weather, melting snow, and gorgeous sunsets. I was glad to have family come and go without storms, but I know they’re coming soon, so I’m imagining a trip to North Carolina in March to witness an early spring.
Blessed Solstice to you as well. 🙂
Thank you, Lydia. I imagine you’re also having unusually warm weather in southern Canada. The snow and ice are melting here with above freezing temperatures forecast for the next week. I know this won’t last, so I’m enjoying it while it’s here.
Merry Christmas Elaine! Thank you so much for gifting us your beautiful, festive marriage of words and images! Yesterday here in the south of the country (UK) we enjoyed a warm, sunny Christmas Day where we joined hundreds of others for a long walk along the beach … of which 150 stripped down to swimwear, and much to the onlookers (us!) delight, then ran straight into the icy sea for a quick paddle and general thrash about! It made our day!
With poetry’s pen wrapped up in a dark drawer, I’m enjoying its hibernation, by meeting up with family and friends and reconnecting with loved ones! I love all your photos especially the last one with everyone welcoming Mother Light back into our world! Next year I hope to find the strength and courage to continue seeking contact with the Soul (above and below!) and listen (unconditionally) to its wisdom and share this with others.
Oh, how quickly the months and seasons have passed us by this year! I’m hoping that your cochlear ear implant has settled down now and your sound retraining is an ongoing, ever-growing success? I hope Disco, the dancing dog and the gorgeous Willow are having themselves a very merry little Christmas too! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.
Thank you, Deborah. What a joyful thrill to see those intrepid swimmers having a Christmas cleanse. My pen must be hanging out with your pen in that drawer. Few words emerging these days and no ideas or dreams that draw me forward. That will change. It’s time for a Solstice/New Year’s pause. My sons created a Solstice fire on a frigid night with Orion and Venus watching over us. Cold weather brought beautiful skies, but then the weather warmed. The snow melted and there’s no cold weather coming soon. It makes life with a young pup easier.
Disco spent Solstice and Christmas with family which includes my son from North Carolina who drove here with his 3 dogs. A tiny and sometimes grumpy Chihuahua to Jade who weighs over 100 lbs and one old lady between. Jade and Disco partied and played and by the end of 4 days, Disco figured out how to make friends with the Chihuahua which involved avoiding lunges and play bows and making slow approaches. Ah…. My son took a photo Christmas Eve of me lying on the couch with LilBit the Chihuahua lying over my heart and Disco lying on my belly with her head nestled against LilBit’s rump. Peace is possible in this wild world.
My hearing is its own long story–better in some situations and still very difficult in others because it picks up every sound. Still, the implant made it possible for me to go to a dream workshop with Jungian Robert Bosnak in late November. There were about 15 people in a place with excellent acoustics, dreamers speak one at a time, and embodied imagination is naturally slow so I had time to hear everything. (Yes, my hearing is slow because a translation process is going on.) I worked with a powerful goddess dream which I wrote about and painted, but haven’t shared. I’m still working with the images. Blessings to you and yours in 2020. May the pen flow and may the heart be full. Love and light, Elaine
I’m wishing you a beautiful new season with lots of blessed light, Elaine. It’s damp and gray outside today but your photos are warm and alive, inviting us to look forward. Cheers to you and your family.
Thank you, Robin. I take lots of photos when the skies are clear. Don’t you? The snow is nearly all melted here and the light has been dull for a few days. Solstice and New Year’s blessings to you and may you have good cheer. Holidays have a melancholy edge for me. I know you understand.
Thanks for all this, Elaine. Your photos as great!
A very short blog post I just read has nailed my feelings exactly. Written by a Canadian friend, writer Linda Hoye reminds us that this time of year is a time to exhale: https://lindahoye.com/boxing-day-3/ As far as I’m concerned, it’s part of the cycle! 🙂
Thanks, Marian. I’ll look at the article you shared. Yes, it’s part of the cycle–but I remember Christmas in FL visiting Vic’s mom many years ago. It was a different world walking on the beach rather than in the snow. It’s now warmed here and all the snow melted which makes life a little easier with the pup. I’m taking a Solstice-Christmas-New Year’s pause to consider life’s possibilities and gifts. Blessings to you and yours during the pause.
Love this, Elaine! You are so connected to life in all its cycles. I miss seeing you but always enjoy reading your posts. Happy New Year my friend!
Thank you, Cathy. I miss seeing you, too. May you have a Peaceful New Year filled with the best surprises. Sending love and Blue Morphos, Elaine
Soooo late to the table Elaine! Such a lovely post thank you, showing life in its cycles, bringing change each and every time. May the light continue to gather apace. Today it’s 1st Jan 2020, and I’m wishing for you a year of plenty plenty in 2020 – abundance in good health and hearing, seeing and sowing, love and laughter, and peace –
Not as late as I often am, Susan. The sky is solid gray here today, so it’s hard to remember the sun is up there. Thank you for your loving wishes. Yes to good health and hearing for all of us, and a flow of words when we feel we need them and sweet love from people and animal friends. May there be peace in our lands.
Your beautiful photos are a delight–and a joyful reminder of life in all its cycles.
It has been two weeks since the solstice, and already I notice the days getting a bit longer. I think this is the first year I have been so accepting of the darkness (usually I am counting the days from the solstice as I long for more minutes of daylight), which may be one of the greatest gifts of living with an illness–slowly learning to be more with what is rather than what I wish it would be.
Discovering your blog was a huge gift to me in 2019, Elaine, and I want you to know how grateful I am. Your wisdom, honesty, courage, and capacity for joy are a continued source of inspiration.
May there be peace in our hearts. May there be peace in our lands.
What a beautiful message, Anne. Thank you. I’ve loved connecting with you, too, although I don’t know as much about your life as you do about mine. I know you have the challenge of a difficult illness, plus a few other details I’ve gathered along the way.
My health issues aren’t life-threatening, but they limit my social contact and keep me close to home–a nice place to be. There’s something comforting about knowing I don’t have to go anywhere on a winter’s night. The cochlear implant makes it easier to hear in unchallenging situations, but challenging situations (most social situations) can send me into vertigo, so I have to take care. It’s a good life with my dogs, a friend staying here temporarily, and daily time in the woods, but more secluded than I would have imagined. The best plan for me now is to be content with the way things are.
Sending you wishes for a Blessed New Year, peace in your world, and peace and safety on Earth. When I feel grumpy about something, I remind myself I’m not in Australia or in the Middle East. It’s hard not to despair about the state of the planet, but tonight I watch Venus sparkling in the southwestern sky and the moon glowing in the east, and I’m grateful for what remains.