By now, the majority of my readers and fellow authors are aware that I am a card-carrying pagan. Well, we don’t have cards, although I am a lifetime member of Witch School. But mainly, this means that my winter holiday is the Solstice.
Winter Solstice is a non-commercial holiday that requires no shopping. It is an island of quiet reflection in the pre-Christmas craziness that most of us get caught up in, despite the fact that it’s not our day. I usually make a special dinner and try to find the peace that’s there, before the nights begin to shorten again, daytime longer, as we swing toward the new life of spring and warmth of summer.
The plants and hibernating animals still have a long time to go before they emerge into the sunlight, but I always feel as though once the Solstice is past, I can feel the quickening of the earth, the restlessness as it waits for the sun to come again.
I like to imagine the hopefulness of the ancient peoples, when Solstice was their celebration, before Christianity moved their newbie holiday right next to it. Candles, or whatever tiny light sources they had, aglow, huge logs from the immense trees burning in the giant hearths of the central halls…golden foods to celebrate the sun’s rebirth…and the fire always kept alight all that night, the longest night of the year. Would the sun return? A lunar eclipse as we are having this year would have made it even more frightening.
I love Christmas, and Santa and the happiness of all the kids…but Solstice has a special charm for me and I wish you all a peaceful winter’s night, safety in the darkness and a return to the light in good health and happiness. Bright Blessings on your families and all whom you love, and may you always have everything you need and enough of what you want to find joy in your days. On this longest night, hold your dear ones close and tell them how much you love them and why. The sun will return, tomorrow.
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