Ah....Exhale. Followed by cough, sniffle, cough. As it seems we're all in the thick of the classic post-holiday colds and fevers. I suppose that's only to be expected when you throw a whole lot of little cousins together (a whole lot!), add a lot of treats no one is used to eating in such quantities, and then take away sleep. A recipe for the post-holiday cold. And while sniffly noses are a bummer, honestly it isn't that terrible. Nothing that can't be cured with a bit of Mama's elderberry elixir, a whole lot of smoothies, extra rest, and mellow time with new games and toys in front of the fire. Yes, we'll recover just fine.
Just this morning, I emptied my camera card onto the desktop for the first time since just before Solstice. That task usually happens daily, but of course this past week has been a busy one, a flurry of Christmas activity and fun, and so much making too. I nearly had to shovel a path to my studio chair this morning just to find a spot to sit, for all the remnants of making still remain where there were left - in a hurry of fun last minute, elving goodness (I'll show you what we made later this week). The photos I found on that camera card are full of the things this week has come to mean for us - fun with cousins and siblings, tradition and celebration, merriment and joy. But right in this moment, I am drawn to the first images from just over a week ago now, as we celebrated our small Solstice gathering at home, just the eight of us. Forgive me for overusing the word, but for a few hours of that day, it is nothing but magic for me. Magic. As, throughout the day, we wrap our written intentions or hopes for the coming year into burlap, with bits of lavender or sage, twine and greens. Carrying those outside in daylight, we light our fire and remain there until dark. The intentions are placed in the fire and we sit for a while before coming back inside - lit only by candlelight, the youngest leading the way this year. Inside, our candlelit feast begins, and gifts are exchanged. For those few hours, the rest of the world feels so far away, and time, feels as though it pauses for us.
In the midst of a busy life, in a busy year, or during this busy season, I appreciate those pausing moments so very much. Time when our connection to one another is strong, when we are all so fully present, and where my heart quite fills with the peace of that. I suppose, that's a bit what this week right now is about too - this 'week in between' - and why I've come to also love it (snuffly noses or not), and why we've chosen this year to stay at home mostly, and why we've taken a step away from some larger gatherings, for right now at least. It is a quiet pause of time, one in which we can reflect fondly on the merriment and joy that we've been a part of this week, and full of so moments in which to just be still...with each other and ourselves. We're lingering there right now, you could say, in lengthening days, in the warmth of home and each other, as the snow begins to fall.
Wishing you much of the same these days!