Sunday, December 30, 2018

winter solstice season

I have been enchanted by the idea of a 'winter solstice season' rather than a one-day or 12-day event. By expanding the December 21st date a few weeks before and after, I have been given the gift of time, relaxation, rest and greater enjoyment than ever before. The entire space and pace of Yule seems to have changed for the better.

"shine light into the darkness" is my contribution to India Flint's Gardens of the Heart poetry and cloth exhibit to be held at the Woollen Mill Artspace in Lobethal, South Australia in February. When I volunteered for the project, I was given the assignment of a few hand-stitched words (of my own choosing) for the second line of a three-line poem, to be stitched together and hung by India and her volunteers. An amazing sight it will be. Details here.

Shining light into the darkness is something to aspire to.

Fermented elderberry honey that I started in the fall and brewed until recently -- I'm not sure that it tastes any different than unfermented honey but hopefully it teems with invisible probiotic helpers.

The assembling of mostly home-made gift packages, each with a small peppermint essential oil soy candle, a bit of peppermint bark and a little poinsettia plant.

It had been many years since I'd gone into full production like this for Yule gifts. I think we scared some of the neighbors when we came to their doors bearing gifts in the dark.

Autumn altar gradually morphing into winter altar.

Roots to nourish and deepen my ancestral roots -- I imagine my people nodding in approval as I cook with them.

A lovely, solitary, winter tea time.

Plants are Magic by Rebecca Desnos is a magical publication, indeed. I recently ordered the first three volumes -- to date I've only read the first article in the first volume...but I've read it three times. I've been savoring Rebecca's beautiful writing about unusual, traditional dye methods beginning with making healing cloth by dyeing the cloth in medicinal (anti-bacterial) dye-baths -or- projecting pure intention into the dye-bath for well-being and healing. Another unusual practice (in our culture) is to continually dye and re-dye clothing to refresh both color and healing qualities. I see a whole wide vista opening up before me now.

Einkorn is a cookbook/guide for the ancient variety of wheat known as Einkorn. I am excited about this because it could serve as yet another connection to the foods of my ancestors.

At the beginning of a new year I look forward to having something new to focus on and use as a guide of some sort. Before deciding on a new focus though, I decided to enter the season of winter solstice by simply reflecting on light in the darkness.

I wrote myself A Litany of Light for the Winter Solstice Season in the manner of old-time church litanies, inspired by John Matthews in The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas. The response for each line of my litany is a little different than most -- rather than a phrase of words, it is to simply reflect in silence for a few seconds.

A photograph album with a good number of black pages intact once belonged to my parents and probably grandparents before them. It feels pretty old. I love it so much and plan to use it to take me through the new year. Who knows what will happen. 

To all who read this, I wish you many wonders and miracles in the new year. xo


Nancy said...

Dearest Peggy~ It is so good to see you here once bear witness to the intention and beauty with which you move through your days. Every photo provides beauty to gaze upon and thoughts to ponder. Thank you for this gift to your readers and may you have a 2019 filled with wonder, discovery and joy! xo

taiqi said...

Thank you for posting. Lots to think about. Beautifully done post.
I hope that you have a wonderful, miraculous New Year.

Joanne S said...

Your posts are so beautiful. I will return to this post many Times over the coming year.

I have begun to make cloth with plant dye, steaming gently--with you leading the way with posts from other years. Circles stitched on squares. I am spending part of this last day of 2018-thinking about my gardens in the New Year- echoing my own grandmother. Peace to you.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Peggy, the photograph album...holds such Energy, just looking at
the photograph here
and a HUGE Thank you for pointing the way to Rebecca Desnos, her book and her blog, Thank You So much.
Looking there, reading her words, the interview on her blog, finding
that it is a magazine...i forgot how much i love magazines...oh...
I have been working with how to position my Self to live in this
new Place where Fire is such Presence, and reading there this
morning in the still dark, i felt such an openening, a lightening,
THANK YOU...over and over, Love, grace

beth from still life pond said...

Your posts always slow me down, so rich and full. Thank you.

Peggy said...

Dear Nancy, my heart-felt thanks to you for your kindness. This new year will be wonderful, we shall make it so!

Peggy said...

Dear Janet, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Here's to miracles!

Ali said...

So many beautiful things to look at and think about, this post arriving on the last day of the year has been such a blessing. Thank you so much

Peggy said...

Dear Janet, thank you, I so appreciate your comment -- I will envision you stitching circles onto squares while dreaming about gardens to come. I may be doing the very same later today, what better way to spend this last day of the year?

Peggy said...

Dear Grace, you don't know how happy it makes me that you too feel the magic of Rebecca's work. Hoping that you are safe and secure and that we find ways to coexist with fire -- its work, its reasons, its gifts....I think of you and the goats.

Peggy said...

Dear Beth, thank you so much for writing that...

Peggy said...

Dear Ali, thank you so much for being here.

Emily said...

I'm always so gladdened and inspired to see a new blog post here, dear Peggy. You have so much to teach me. Much love, peace, and best wishes to you in the new year.

Deb G said...

I've been approaching this time of year the same way and agree it brings more of what the season should be and less of what I don't want. Happy New year!

Ms. said...

Rich and Fine
I'll be back to read again and follow links,
blessed be.

Susan Hemann said...

your project for India is terrific, I was going to participate but arthritis in my hands has stopped all needlework, I too have Plants are Magic, I enjoy her writing as well.

dulcy said...

Happy Winter Solstice Peggy! I love everything here! I must ask you if what appears to be an
African Violet is actually blue? That is how it's appearing to me. Whatever the color, beautiful! I'm very tucked in this time of year, and have actually been looking forward to the end of holiday season, and the time of quiet. I feel very inspired....... I may order one of the magazine series that you've posted about. Love to read about plants right now....... thank you for the beautiful and inspiring post.

Dee Mallon said...

Your approach to life and the lovely beauty with which you document and share that approach are lights in the darkness. Always an inspiration. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I like the idea of expanding the Yuletide to the 12 days and how you celebrate it in small meaningful ways. Your photos are lovely and recipes inspiring. I may check out those books.