Monday 22 December 2014

Post Solstice, Pre Christmas

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice and my beloved and I walked up to one our favourite ancient longbarrows. The weather was cold but clear and we enjoyed hot chocolate in insulated travel cups while we sat and communed with the spirits of the place. We shared smiles with the other four or so people who were there, tying wishes to the tree, touching the stones. It was so, so peaceful, and I felt a harmonious purity simply listening.

Between us we took turns at adding a few loose sticks to the little fire that has been glowing up there for the past few years, providing its own eternal light. It's a small area but everyone gives one another space and quiet to enjoy the surroundings in their individual way. I love that. Each of the eight Celtic festivals has a unique energy, and I love that moment of Solstice pausing (which we celebrated at home just after 10pm) before the Sun turns and we head into the lighter part of the year. 

I felt really refreshed and ready to tackle the preparations for welcoming family for Christmas Day, which has an altogether different feel to the gentle Solstice.

Being a mild agoraphobic means that I have to manage any shopping carefully in order to avoid crowds and crushes at certain times of year. Not for me the wild rush to the sales. This year has sounded particularly horrific in terms of Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, Mad whatever else the media can come up with. I wonder if it's because we are still in the grip of 'austerity measures' that people feel a sort of release that has them charging to the shops? 

I'm one of those people who buys presents throughout the year, as I see them, or make them. That way, I'm saved (most of the time!) from a last minute panic. Thank goodness for online shopping too - a gift indeed!

Whatever celebrations you enjoy, may I wish you and yours the happiest and most joyous of times.

'Til next time,


Coldrum Stones. Allington sunset - photos by Margo Benson

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