The Longest night of the year

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December 21st is not only the Winter Solstice, it is also the birthdate of my daughter -35 years ago. She entered in to the world after 10 hours of not too hard effort on my part during a full moon in a full maternity ward. Go figure. Every woman who was anywhere near full term was pulled into labour that night. My Solstice baby. The warm light in the dark.

My daughter may have harboured deep feelings of “second fiddle” to christmas as she grew up, but we did our best to make the distinct separation while also keeping the festive vibe going from her birthday right through to New years. Which was quite enjoyable, stretching the celebratory atmosphere out to its fullest length.

Which is what I desire during winter. It’s a dark season, and here in Vancouver it’s dark and rainy. (so extra dark, ok?)  Lets put up the lights, light the fire and get in touch with friends and family. Lets EAT.

Because it is a time for not only retreating within but to gather together, in what I can feel is an essential part of our primal make up. The sitting around a fire with friends and family and sharing a meal strengthens bonds. That simple act perhaps resonates an ancient tribal message that gives reassurance to those around us that WE are here, together. Do not fear the night and its storms. There is enough to eat, you won’t be cold, hungry, alone.

All well and good but… uh January? By the middle of that month I’m starting to get twitchy.

It’s such a bloody LONG month with no occasion.

And by then I’m eager for Spring. For the billowy days of blustering winds and fast-moving white clouds, for the returning song birds, and garden plans, for working and being outside.

But tonight as I write a cold windy rain is hitting my window, which somehow enhances my feelings of warm contentment, and spring is soundly snug under the soil. And I look forward to the next few days of being in the of company of my friends and family.

My small live tree is duly decorated with bits of memory, like the horse in the glass bell that was part of a set my daughter sold through her 5th grade class fundraiser, this is the only one that remains, and the needle point one my sister made and gave to me in 1988. My mantle is strewn with some fir-tree branches (of the hundreds that came down in our most recent blow) and white lights and there is a stack of fire wood at the ready.

I am thankful for all the comforts I have ~

but more for the love that I know surrounds me and that I am able to surround others with.

That’s what lights up all the darkness.

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