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The Sun’s Return

December 20, 2009
Bayou Christmas 036

Grand Isle Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, Solstice

This stretch of time between now and Christmas mark the traditional midwinter Solstice celebrations, when the sun is  low on the horizon.  After this, we’ll see  more sunshine day by day until the midsummer fire.

This time of year we  sometimes bake ‘wish bread’, a lumpy buttery cinnamon bread with a piece of dried fruit hidden inside each ball, the bright flavor reminding us of the promise of sunshine hidden in these long dark days.  As we make it, each piece of fruit represents a blessing or wish for our new year, and we stay (somewhat) in meditative focus so that creating the sweetbread is a prayer of intention for our next year.  (Alright, alright – the kids are six and three and really, it’s chaos.  But the meditative focus can be squeezed in in small bits.)  The recipe and idea for this tradition came from “Circle Round”, a handbook of earth-centered celebrations  that every young family could use.

Grand Isle Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, Solstice

Winter Solstice, Grand Isle Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico

Firelight holds some of the sun’s promise of light, life and warmth, and in these darkest days people still center their celebrations around twinkling lights.  We’ll light a candle tomorrow night, maybe surrounded by thick, shiny green magnolia leaves, remembering the people we love in all corners and canyons, and relishing the promise in our sparks of creativity.  Next summer’s long days of activity and accomplishment begin gestation here, now, in the dark nights of winter.   How will your family mark the swing of the pendulum?   How will you use this winter to nourish next year’s goals and action?

Blessings to everyone in this great big world.

Bayou Christmas 101

Winter Solstice, Grand Isle Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico. Just saw two dolphins leaping

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