Imagine a fire burning brightly in the middle of the woods. Imagine the dark darkness of a Solstice night. Imagine three or four people gathered around that fire, perhaps shivering in the cold 10 degree night, dressed in heavy snow suits, thick wool mittens, tightly-knit hats and super-insulated boots.
Can you hear the fire crackling? Can you smell the smoke as the flames shift with the whipping icy wind? The wind howls in the tree tops. Looking up, flakes of snow blur your vision, but you can witness the barren tree tops swaying. In the background, the house lights gleam blurry and multi-colored.
Every day more darkness descends upon the earth. The darkness swallows light-minutes daily. It’s barely 6 p.m. and darkness rules. But tonight, tonight, is a special night. Tonight is Winter Solstice. Tonight we celebrate that the Light returns to the earth, that slowly, slowly, the sun will begin to warm our frozen land. Tonight we breathe deeply and remember something buried deep within our souls. We remember Hope, and Peace, and Joy.
In this spirit, we fire-tenders have written words of hope and intent on hand-crafted paper. A little while ago, we sat in the cozy kitchen, sated after a hearty bowl of vegetarian Minestrone soup, home baked bread and Caesar salad. We found crayons, a sparkling festival of colors, and drew symbols and words to express our deepest heart-desires.
Some people have traditionally burned slips of paper in Solstice fires, expressing what they no longer wish to have & hold in their lives. We debated whether to do this, but opted instead to write in the affirmative. “I am”, “I will”, “I want” we wrote in bold colors. We laughed as we smelled the crayons, remembering childhood now distanced. Then we gathered our warm clothes and intentions and trouped to the fireside.
What a peaceful night. Even with the wind blowing and the crackling of frozen tree-limbs, the fire shed warmth and light. We spoke words of hope, of intention, of love. And then, gently, tenderly, carefully, placed our intentions in the roaring flames. Look! Can you see the smoke? It brings our prayers and desires up into the heavens. The spirit of sky listens, and that which many people call by the name of God…or Universe…..or All….or Love…..hears.
My intent spoke of the formation of this blog, of a dedication to spending time outdoors each day. To writing of the earth’s secrets, of our deepening relationship, of the rhythms of sun, and snow, and warmth and cold. This is a way to re-connect with that which is beyond the closed cabin doors, that which is inside. Something “out there” is calling. I can hear it. If you can hear the call, please come back and read. We’ll explore together during the next 365 days. I am so excited!