Friday, November 22, 2019

Friday Ramble - Calling the Sun Home

Herons, geese and loons have departed for warmer climes, and waterways in the eastern Ontario highlands are freezing over, little by little. Skies are grey and cloudy for the most part, and weather forecasts usually have the word snow in them somewhere. In early morning, an icy north wind rattles the eaves of the little blue house in the village and sets the whiskery trees in motion.

When night falls, I pull draperies closed and shut out the gloom beyond the windows, taking refuge and much pleasure in small seasonal rites. I brew pots of tea (one after the other) and stir mugs of hot chocolate. I experiment with recipes for curries and paellas, sketch and read, plot gardens for next year (more roses and herbs, perhaps a Medicine Wheel garden), craft grand and fabulous schemes which will probably never see the light of day. I do a little dancing from time to time, but my efforts are closer to lurching than they are to anything else.

Hallelujah, we are nearing the end of November, and in a few weeks, days will begin to lengthen again. It will be some time until we notice a real difference, but at least we will be on our way - for that reason, Yule just may be my favorite day in the whole turning year. When it arrives, there will be celebrations and silliness, candles, music and mulled cider to drive away the darkness and welcome old Helios back to the world. He is still here of course - it's the earth's seasonal wobble that makes him seem more distant than he actually is at this time of the year.  We and our planet are the ones in motion, not the magnificent star at the center of our universe.

Beginning next week and continuing until Yule, I will light a candle at dusk every Sunday in a practice called the Solstice Sun Wreath - four weeks and four candles, a fifth festive candle to be lit on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Now in its  fifteenth year, the advent observance was crafted by the late Helen Farias, founder of the Beltane Papers. Helen passed beyond the fields we know in 1994, and after her passing, her creation was carried on by Waverly Fitzgerald of the School of the Seasons. This year, Waverly is undergoing treatment for cancer.  Please hold her in your thoughts when you light a candle.

On Sunday evening, I join a circle of friends and kindred spirits like Waverly, Beth Owl's Daughter, Joanna Powell Colbert and many other wise beings.  I am not so wise myself, but that is quite all right. Together, we honor the earth and her fruitful darkness, and we call the sun home. May there be light ahead for all of us.

Magpie creature that I am and ever a passionate collector of seasonal lore, I am very interested in your own "before Yule" practices.

1 comment:

Barbara Rogers said...

I wish I had a ritual before yule. Will have to put my old grey cells to work and figure out one. I love your candle holder!