My granddaughter spent the night. This morning in the cool of the dark morning I pulled the soft covers up under our chins refusing the late dawn. The smell of coffee wafted in the door. The cats purred and stretched. Bits of light cascaded past the window to announce the winter solstice. Last night was the darkest and longest night of the year.
Maryjane and I went out last night with a small bow of pine from the Christmas (Yule) tree. We lit the end of it and let the smoke rise up to the bright stars above (the only kind of bonfire allowed on an apartment balcony!). We said hello to Kat as well as our animals, friends, and family that have passed on to the next dimension among the star people. We said thank you for all the many blessings of the year and welcomed the new sun.
The people of the world for centuries upon centuries have held bonfires and feasts to celebrate Yule. Using precious food from their dwindling larders as a way of letting Mother Earth know that the people trusted her to provide for them in the fields of Spring. Bonfires on the darkest night, perhaps a bit of spirits, food, and festivity sang through the cold night air.
Today starts the sun’s presence growing stronger over the next six months. Each day it will be light a bit longer. Yule is a celebration of light and renewal. The 12 days of Christmas was actually the 12 days of Yule, beginning on the winter solstice and lasting until New Year’s. Greenery was thought to protect the home from illness and bad luck and as much Fir as one could put in their humble abode was good. Boughs of greenery were decorated with ribbons and candles. From the Yule log, to the 12 days of Yule, to the birth of the new sun god by the virgin goddess all seem to ring of coincidental familiarity. This is the time of year to be close to the hearth, family, and loved ones, and to celebrate the light growing each day.
This is the time of the year to review our lives, our habits, and decide what will make us better, happier, and more peaceful people. May your day be filled with light!