A little bleary and smelling of wood smoke, I am writing this the morning after we celebrated the Winter Solstice with a fine gathering of friends. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you so much to everybody that came.
We shared stories, poems and songs. Listened to wonderful guitar and banjo tunes. Laughed at jokes that I dare not tell here. Generally enjoyed each other’s company. Ages ranged from six years to sixty plus. Teenagers sat with their parents. Everyone brought food and drink. We ate home made soup and bread and far too much cake. We drank home pressed mulled cider and the potent brew known only as “shrub”- apparently this pink and chewy beverage contains rum, redcurrants and secret ingredients known only to the maker – it is fine stuff.
And the fire watched over it all. Warming our bodies. Lifting our spirits. There is, it seems to me, something special about an evening spent around a fire. One friend commented about the magical, mesmerising effect of gazing into the flames. It’s true: the flickering light of a fire in the dark taps into something very deep within us – something primal. We didn’t really need the fire for its physical warmth. It was a mild night and, amazingly, the rain kept off until just before midnight. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. But, somehow, we needed the fire all the same. To mark the place. To hold us to it. To hold us all together. The fire brings focus. A fixed point around which the rest revolves. Fire is the Sun around which we,as planets, orbit. So, on the night when Earth’s orbit takes us furthest from our Sun, it seems fitting to celebrate with Fire.
We didn’t dance. But if we had it would have been something like this …..
A wild and stormy night followed but, from today, the days will slowly grow longer. The light will return.
And, somehow, today, though tired, I do feel lighter. More positive. I awoke to find an email telling me that a piece I submitted for the next Dark Mountain anthology has been accepted. If you have enjoyed my Yule Blogs, I heartily recommend the Dark Mountain website for further reading along the same lines. For now, I am taking a break from the daily blogging. I want to work on the story I told the beginning of at last night’s fire. If you want to continue reading my blogs, I recommend that you take the time to sign up to Follow. I do post regularly, but don’t always link to Facebook. It’s a pain but, that way, you will receive all my posts direct to your email inbox and you will have access to a whole universe of other bloggers out there in the blogoverse.
To finish this Yule 2015 blog, I leave you with two gifts to carry you into the Christmas thing. Two Christmas songs that you may not be familiar with. Contrasting in style and tone, they are two of my favourites. Happy Christmas.