“and life comes to one, as we dance on, dance on.” – ee cummings
Last night was the longest night of the year. We lit candles all over the house and had a big fire in the woodstove. We talked about this past year. We talked about the year to come. It was a good night to reflect and dream. I’ve read things recently that suggest our ancestors had a conviction that this was the time of year to do nothing. To stop. And it’s really interesting to note that before I heard this I’ve been having the urge to do just that. Nothing. No writing. No drawing or painting. Of course, the animals still need to be fed and the water situation still needs to be addressed. The Ranch still has its needs. It doesn’t stop. But I can at least slow down. But last night we did as the ancestors did. We just stopped.
I think the seasons are a wheel that slows more and more until it finally stops. All day yesterday it was stopped. Now, today, it starts up again. But slowly. It slowly gains momentum as the sun gains strength. Yes, the coldest days are yet to come. Yes, winter is probably going to be at her worst in the coming month but we’re ready. We’re still here and we have enough and we’re going to make it. It’s not even Christmas yet. We’re looking forward to the celebration of the new born baby who brought light and love to the world. But I can see why long ago the people who were in control moved that lustrous holiday a few notches over from the Solstice. The Solstice is very, very powerful and I wouldn’t want to be associated with it if I was trying to start a new tradition. It would be so confusing. So we get to have two powerful traditions right in the darkest time of the year. Can you really imagine life without these traditions? I can’t. I would be super depressed and looking around to make something up to replace them.
To be sure the Solstice has lost some of it’s validity in the world. At least, here in the good ole U.S. of A. But here on the ranch it still has sway. We sort of, in a way, endure winter out here and count the days until the warm days begins again. The Solstice marks the change. On the day after we remind ourselves that the warmth is only a few months away and the dark season is beginning to end. We’re cycling back.
Here are a few images from the ranch that remind me that circles are so very much a part of life. Something begins, something ends, everything eventually comes around to where it began.
A Fairy Ring of Mushrooms
A Stone Splashes into the Pond