Winter solstice

Today is the winter solstice – the “shortest” day of the year. Tomorrow, we will enjoy more minutes of daylight than yesterday, as we turn the corner into winter.

Solstice – or Yule – is celebrated in many cultures. In the northern hemisphere, cultures traditionally celebrated the event with rituals familiar to many of us. Evergreens were brought into the home to remind us that the world endures and plants will grow again. Fires were lit to symbolize the return of the sun, and families and friends would gather to feast and celebrate the coming of a new year.

On this solstice, I enjoy the company of my family. My grandson can be found under the Christmas tree, carefully removing decorations. I have been baking, and we are all feasting. The house is decorated with lights and garlands, and a fire blazes in the woodstove. Snow is on the way and I am thankful for my warm and comfortable home. Tonight, my daughter and I will join with other women in the community to dance in celebration of this symbolic day.

Life is full of beginnings and endings, transitions and traditions. My family’s winter traditions have evolved over time, but some things are unchanged. The joy of seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child, the sweet treats we wait for all year, the beautiful scent of a Christmas tree.

May you enjoy the solstice, the celebrations to come, and a bright and hopeful new year. Love and peace to you and yours.