Around 8:23 AM today, Dec. 21, the Sun begins its long journey toward longer days. Nevertheless, today will be the shortest day of the year, a traditional time of turning within, rest, and contemplation.
This year Christmas decorating took back stage to the cleaning/showing routine I’ve fallen in to. Our house remains UNsold, although it showed last week for the 31st time. No greens or reds or Christmas colors can be found inside, but that which nature is offering OUTSIDE cannot be outdone. Yesterday as the sun was setting I discovered just outside my window a beautiful flocked tree with tiny lights nestled amongst its branches.
This morning as the sun came up over the ridge, there is was more flocking and my tree gleamed brilliant with new light.
Lighting a candle is a long-held practice in many cultural, family and faith traditions. The practice is common across international borders and societies. Lighting candles can bring serenity, focus and comfort, and peace. Breathe, relax, and light a candle for peace within
Yesterday I submitted fourteen images to Looking Glass Gallery, located in the Bend River Mall annex. Seven are Solstice greetings and the other seven are holiday themes. Watch for future post and more images.
My Solstice art is not easily photographed, as it is painted on Yupo (a plastic paper) with acrylic inks. The inks leave a high gloss finish which reflects everything making it almost impossible to photograph. The image I’m posting will give you an idea of my expression of the Return of the Sun or the Solstice celebration. Inside each card is a brief explanation of the meaning of Solstice.
I posted this poem last Fall, but it’s one of my favorites:
She celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
Then orange, yellow and red, Finally she let go of her brown.
Shedding her last leaf she watched its journey to the ground.
She stood in silence wearing the color of emptiness
Her branches wondering how do you give shadow with so much gone.
She stood empty and silent stripped bare leaning against the winter sky.
She began her vigil of trust
And then the sacrament of waiting began.”
Winter is the season I “wait” for each year, anticipating the peace, surprise, and absolute beauty of snow all around, on the ground, in the trees, flakes falling through the cold skies. Thanksgiving in the past marked the first day of skiing on the mountain. It still does for the younger part of my family, but now, a bit older and a whole lot more cautious, I’m blessed with “slow beauty” – or cross country skiing. Isabella and I venture out daily, she wearing bear feet and I my skis, to feel the blessing of all that is in and all around. I’m thankful for the quiet of winter and “trust” that the snows are here to stay. A fire in the wood stove, holiday lights inside and out, a blanket and a good book to end the day is what I have? (Just read “Lab Girl” – so good and funny – and now “Boys in the Boat” – well written.) Thank you all for being but, yet, one more blessing that I can give thanks for.
Wishing everyone a Thanksgiving filled with love, kindness, wellbeing, and warmth – the warmth part is for those who prefer temperatures that would melt snow.