Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ready for Solstice

It is nearly Solstice.  That time when the day is shortest and the night is longest. . . that tipping point after which we know that incrementally, we are regaining bits of that precious light. Seconds to be sure, but we will regain light.

This season has been a busy one full of so many ways to celebrate.  And i have loved every bit of it.  I decided this year  that I was not going to try to pare back activities unless the kids seemed to need it. I was used to being rather minimalist in my choice of activities when Chet was young. But aside from making sure that we made sure they get adequate rest, the youngers (can't quite say littles any more) can handle a wider array of experiences than Chet can.

So we saw the Nutcracker--a local performance that a friend of ours was in. We listened to holiday music performed by local school kids.  There have been trips to see lights. There have been multiple Christmas parties at the dance school as well as Lissa's birthday celebrations. Special foods, special TV programs, and lots of special books have been shared.  We have made our family mural, made gingerbread houses and the house sparkles with an abundance of decorations. (that I most sincerely hope conceal the lack of deep cleaning during the month of December!) The tree lights twinkle and my favorite holiday plates are our regular every day plates during this month.  It is SO much fun!

But winter is also about stillness. It is about that pause, when the earth rests.  And Solstice reminds me to take that pause.  The picture above is our kitchen altar.  Our family altar is in the kitchen over the sink very intentionally.  I believe that the kitchen is the heart of our home. It is the place where we start each day and where we end it each evening. Over the month I have been gradually changing up the altar to reflect the coming of winter. Back right is a ceramic of a wolf that KC made several years ago at pottery camp.  In front of that is a spectacular speciman of mica that used to be my grandmothers.  There are rocks, that remind me that winter is hard and a tiny candle to remind me that the light returns.  A lovely long piece of birch bark rests across the back of the altar.  Birch is my favorite wood for starting a hot blaze quickly so it is symbolic of the fire of life for me on our altar. And there  snow people because they make me smile.

Sometimes the pause in my life is only the period of time that it takes to wash the dishes.  But the altar keeps me centered and more peaceful.  Blessed be.

No comments: