Celebrating the Winter Solstice

Liam was checking out the makings of the Bon Fire, while Fate safely challenged Kim and Suzy, from behind the fence.

I sat in front of the Bon Fire, it was still early, only six o’clock or so, but the night was already too dark to see even what was right in front of me. For a while the fire was the only light.  Then I began to see the thin stretch of clouds start to glow above the tree line.

I watched as the moon, still low in the woods and obscured by the clouds, lit up the horizon.   It didn’t take long for her to show her face.  She was full on the Solstice, taking over where the sun left off, so early, on the shortest day of the year.  Now two nights later, already waining, she still lit up barnyard and pastures.

Jon, Fate and the Bon Fire

I opened the gate for Jon, who carried out a tray with our dinner.  Hamburgers, sweet potatoes, lentil chips and grapes.  “Look who came to keep me company while you were gone”, I said to him.  He looked around, expecting the donkeys or sheep.

It took him a moment to realize I was talking about the moon.

We didn’t get to celebrate the Solstice on the night it occurred because it rained.  But, I feel  the exact day isn’t as important as the meaning.

To me, the holidays are about the dark and cold that comes this time of year.  About bringing light and finding hope in the darkness.  The Solstice may be the longest night of the year, but the hope comes in knowing the next day it will start getting lighter longer, once again.

It’s the natural world demonstrating how in the natural cycles of the earth and for those of us who inhabit it, light and darkness are a continuous cycle.   So in my own despair, I can find hope through natures example.

For me, celebrating the Solstice is an acceptance of that natural cycle.  A reminder of the understanding of the cycles of life, death, life, literally and metaphorically in my everyday life.


The smoldering Bon Fire this morning.

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