Oh, what a lovely solstice that was. I don't know if you believe it possible in a house of eight people and more animals than we can count, but the day was so very mellow, it really was. Just easy, and comfortable, with a lovely quiet flow of togetherness. Games, baking, making, and celebrating. Our traditions practically carry themselves at this point, with so many hands making sure their favorite part of the day happens, and everyone else's too. For a few days prior, I had the pleasure of hearing the kids remind Gram of just what it is we do here on Solstice and why. I found myself smiling quietly at what they each said, often in surprise at their interpretation of it all. For instance, I had no idea that the tiny pickles (cornichons) were such a vital part of Harper's Solstice tradition! (And I was glad to hear that, for I hadn't remembered to put them on the list until then.) Or that Adelaide loves our Solstice Intentions and the fire bundles best of all, even though she says they never work ("I always do the same ones. To stop biting my nails and to get along better with Harper. But it never happens!"). And the older boys, focusing their attention on the all-important Solstice fire outside, and telling Gram exactly what time they needed to start it in the day to get it going well enough to be "raging!" by the time darkness hit. And then Annabel, confusing all of her holidays into one, telling Gram about the tooth fairy, hot cocoa and stockings from Santa....and then being absolutely delighted at each turn that the day brought.
It's a pleasure to see these traditions take flight, that once upon a time we dreamed up as a very young family. Now they begin to carry themselves, and get twisted and turned in ways I never could have dreamed myself, but love so much. The day is a much-loved, central part of our holiday traditions, and a perfect slow, intimate start to the more boisterous and jubilant Christmas week to come.
Yesterday, there were intentions set, light and darkness both celebrated, gifts shared, family loved....and yes, lots of tiny pickles consumed. Today, the sun will shine just a little bit longer than it did yesterday. With it, we welcome all the hope and love and light that it represents, and wish you all of the same in your wintry holiday season!