Lighting a candle:
Deep in the ground of the human soul,
Of victory assured,
The Spirit-Sun is living.
All through the winter of the inner life
The faithful heart divines it.
Sasa and I decided last winter that we wanted to celebrate the shortest day of the year :: the Winter Solstice. We wanted to honor the shortest day, the slow return of light, and the eventual return of spring. In the midst of a holiday season that often focuses on people, gifts, and objects, we wanted a celebration that was deeply connected to our Earth. We started our day making treats for the birds and squirrels. We wanted to honor them on the darkest day of the year with some homemade treats. We collected pine cones and spread peanut butter onto them, then sprinkled sunflower seeds on top. We had a huge plateful and were excited to share them with our woodland friends! We took a walk around the neighborhood, ending up in our favorite spot (the beautiful cemetery full of the oldest, loveliest maple trees ever) where we spread our loot out.
We did some shadow measuring (shadows will be the longest on Solstice!), to which the little one kept saying, "I am getting big, big, big Mama! Look at how tall I am!" as she pointed to her shadow. She was so proud.
After lunch, we all finished up our sun cake. Sasa had made a delicious honey cake, which we spread with lemon pudding, and topped off with some homemade whipped cream made by the little one herself. I drew a bare tree to symbolize the winter with some leftover whipped cream.
We spent the afternoon hand stamping our homemade wrapping paper. We wrapped and wrapped, stamped, colored, and topped off with pretty ribbons. The tree is looking quite festive at the moment!
And lastly, we ended our night with a candle lit party. (Don't worry...she's drinking sparkling cranberry juice!) We celebrated the light we are so grateful to have, had a terrific dinner (yam and coconut milk soup), followed by the delicious sun cake. Our house was full of candles, and we were full of gratitude for the slow return of the sun.
Below is a little verse I sang to the little one ::
The gift of light
We thankfully take,
But nothing may be
Just alone for our sake.
The more we give light
To one and another
It shines and spreads life
Growing still further,
Till every spark is set aflame.
Till every heart,
Joy shall proclaim!
A very happy Solstice to you! May you enjoy this dark day and welcome the return of light!