One of my favorite days is coming up this Sunday, the winter solstice. I’ve never formally celebrated the shortest day of the year, but I’ve always done a little happy dance in my mind that, little by little, the days will now start getting longer.
I’m not exactly a fan of winter. Around our house I am known as the human popsicle. When the temp hovers anywhere near freezing my hands and feet turn to ice and I feel a chill all the way to my bones. I can lay under a huge pile of blankets and still have icy hands and feet.
I am a huge fan of sunlight and warmth and spring. Longer, warmer days mean more time to go to my favorite park and walk. Spring means flowering trees. The early ones are the best. I’m thrilled every time I spot a burst of color in all the brown of a just-budding forest.
So this Sunday I am planning, for the first time, to celebrate the day that marks the turning point back toward light and warmth. I feel a little crazy taking this on. Christmas obligations are barreling down and threatening to run over me already. The news this morning was one frantic reminder after another how many days I have left before I must skid to the red and green finish line, sweating and breathing hard, holding the appropriate number of gifts and cards and dressed in the my ugly sweater, bearing huge trays of homemade cookies and party food, ready to produce a feast for my family.
Christmas craziness is actually another reason I want to celebrate the solstice–I’m going to declare a one day moratorium from the frenzy and chaos and noise. I’m creating a little celebration where anyone is welcome, but no one is obliged to join me. I’m going to string a few little twinkle lights across a window because they always make me smile. I’m going to add a few springs of pine because the smell will remind me of how great it smells outside. My one project for the day will be to thinly slice and dry and orange in the oven. When finished the house will smell like sunny citrus and when hung in the window the slices look like sunny stained glass–well worth the effort.
Then, the best part–quiet. When everyone else is asleep I’ll plug in my twinkle lights and lay down and watch them. Around midnight, when we turn the corner toward spring I’ll do that happy dance in my mind and I’ll think about the year ahead and all the things I am looking forward to. If it’s a clear night I’ll find a few wishing stars to pin my hopes on them for good things for my friends and family and me.
Whether you decide celebrate or not I wish all of my readers a calm, peaceful longest night and many warm, sunny days to come.