The invention of a winter solstice celebration

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Yesterday our family celebrated the winter solstice. My made-up ritual went like this:

〉 bake brownies with Fooey

〉 tell everyone we would eat brownies as part of an after-supper solstice celebration

〉 then tell everyone they would have to recite a poem at said celebration

〉 light all available candles and arrange on dining-room table

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〉 turn off all other lights

〉 gather (that took awhile)

〉 enjoy the scene

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〉 recitation by CJ: presentation in French, which he wrote and performed at school, on his stuffed tiger

〉 reading by Fooey: a dramatic performance of excerpts from Geronimo Stilton

〉 recitation by AppleApple: a dramatic performance of “The raven himself is hoarse,” Lady Macbeth soliloquy

〉 reading by Albus: from Diary of a Wimpy Kid

〉 recitation by me: of “First Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

〉 reading by Kevin: poem from Ken Babstock’s collection Mean

〉 (with occasional interruptions: moans from CJ, who is suffering a terrible toothache that comes and goes, and will be investigated further by a dentist this afternoon)

〉 the eating of the brownies (probably not helpful to the toothache…)

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I know our solstice celebration was just hacked together, like a fort made of blankets or a book made of folded-up construction paper. But it was a really fun thing to do. (Fun = entertaining, creatively delightful, collective and personal.) Even though I love the winter solstice because it means the light is coming back, gathering in the early dark made me appreciate the early dark, too. It lowers around us and encloses us, safe inside our house, and, if all is well, it brings a stronger sense of warmth and togetherness. All is well. It’s never far from my mind how fortunate, how easily disrupted, “normal” is.

Today: kids enjoying first official day of no school. They are currently — all of them — barricaded in an upstairs bedroom, dressed in costumes, making a movie using our little digital camera based on a book everyone finds funny: “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores.”

Which leaves me free to write this blog post, process photos, and start wrapping presents. Before dentist-time.

xo, Carrie

Blessed
Plan for today

1 Comment

  1. We had a hacked together Solstice, too, but the first time since we had kids that it felt like a celebration. It usually whizzes by us, all intentions out the window. We lit candles, and then after dinner we walked to the beach, lit a candle in an old peanut butter jar (label still partially affixed), then wrote our “dark” things we wanted to say good-bye to, tried to light and burn them (the wind was a real damper to this!). Came home to hot chocolate and cookies. Youngest subsequently threw up said cookies and hot chocolate. I had wanted to read a poem, but didn’t find one that seemed appropriate until after the kids were in bed. But it felt like something, which was more than we’d done in years. Hopefully the start of something that continues.

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