Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lighting the long night

  Here in the north, the wonderful long days of summer are balanced by lots of darkness in the winter. The winter solstice is the day the sun stops its apparent journey to the north and starts heading south again to bring us longer days. It's no wonder that northern people are so happy get past the longest night of the year. This week we went to the solstice celebration in our local park. There were hundreds of people there by the lake, gathered around a huge bonfire, listening to some lively drumming. It was so dark, I never even saw the drummers.
 There were candles in ice that had been frozen in large buckets and many lanterns carried about on poles. I think most of the lanterns had LEDs in them: pagan ritual meets modern technology.
There was a tree walking around. It's over 9 feet/3 meters tall and two little boys ran up to it and requested permission to hug it. The tree agreed and hugged them back. This is a picture of the tree at a daytime parade on another occasion. (Night-time solstice festivals are difficult to photograph.)
    Having a cheerful green tree inside with lights also reminds us that life goes on, even if most of the trees outside look completely dead.
   Here in the north, we are happy to know that from now on, each day will get a little longer. Meanwhile, we gather around a fireplace and eat high calorie foods to get us through the cold and dark. Happy holidays to you all.

1 comment:

torirot said...

Happy holidays to you too!