I love the Solstice. It's such an important day of the holidays for us, marking the root of the whole season. We're not Christian, so Jesus isn't the reason for our season - but the ideas that he represents within that religion, light, love, compassion, kindness, generosity, these are pretty universal human values that we can rely on to guide us through the darkest days and the longest nights, and for us, those are the spirit of Christmas, Yule and the Solstice. Every day between now and Twelfth Night, this family will concentrate on those things- like we try to all year - but it's just so much easier to keep our focus there when there's a big honking pagan symbol of the season in our living room.
Today, the house smells of apples, squash and onions roasting for the soup for dinner, the now traditional solstice peppermint bark is made and put in wee bags, ready to be slipped into pockets of friends who pretend to be unsuspecting, but are hopeful that it will be there.
Joe and I have straightened the house, put fresh candles in every holder- and the ice lanterns that we light on this night are frozen and ready to line the steps to our door. We'll talk later about what donations we'll make for the season, today is the day that we give money to those trying to make more of what we would like to see in the world. (This year as always, MSF will be on the top of our list, as well as Because I am a Girl.) Tonight I'll welcome friends, and I'll put out steaming bowls of soup, and they'll bring bread and things to share, and we'll lift our glasses to the longest night, the shortest day, the return of the sun, and the light and reaffirm our intention to bring more love to the worlds we live in every day.
Happy Winter Solstice. Light a candle, start the season, I wish you light, and peace and love.